THE TOP THREE:
1. MICHIGAN (16-2)
2. WICHITA (17-4)
3. DRAKE (14-4)
Ohio State's Fred Taylor was saying one day last week, "If somebody doesn't beat Michigan pretty soon, all of a sudden they'll be champions." So he sent his big young Bucks out to swarm all over the brawny Wolverines every time they got the ball. He also put them into a weave to set up screens for Gary Bradds. Bradds got 42 points, and Ohio State won 86-85. But MICHIGAN did not stay beaten very long. Bill Buntin and classy Cazzie Russell shot for 37 and 28 points and Illinois, which earlier had been upset by INDIANA 104-96, went down, 93-82. Ohio State came back to beat Indiana 98-96 in overtime as Bradds scored 40 points.
Wichita, after taking Loyola 65-60 for its 11th straight, was brought up short by BRADLEY at Peoria. A hustling, sniping defense and Leon Hall's last-second shot did in the Shockers 76-74. But DRAKE was hot on Wichita's trail in the Missouri Valley. With McCoy McLemore grabbing almost every rebound in sight, the Bulldogs beat St. Louis 70-57.
Kansas State's Tex Winter and Colorado's Sox Walseth, who had changed their offenses and defenses almost every time the ball changed hands, looked for new ideas when their teams went into overtime at Boulder. Winter wandered through the crowd while Walseth sprinted along the sidelines talking to the officials. Winter's strategy worked better. K-State won 60-59 to take second place behind Oklahoma State in the Big Eight.
THE TOP THREE:
1. TEXAS WESTERN (18-2)
2. TEXAS A&M (11-5)
3. HOUSTON (14-7)
Texas A&M was still winning—and leading—in the Southwest Conference, but the Aggies were giving Coach Shelby Metcalf fits. They trailed Baylor 34-28 at half time before Bennie Lennox perked them up with his good outside shooting (for 20 points) and led them past the Bears 83-58. Arkansas, too, had A&M down at the half and then let the Aggies get away. They won 72-64.