BADMINTON—After dropping the initial match, in which former U.S. Singles Champion Jim Poole defeated Yoshio Komiya, JAPAN quickly took five straight to insure victory in the best-of-nine-match American Zone Thomas Cup final in Victoria, B.C.
BASKETBALL—BOSTON clinched its eighth consecutive Eastern Division title by crushing the Pistons 140-120 (eight Celtics scored 10 or more points) and the Bullets 129-105. After slumping to a half-game lead just three weeks ago, the Celtics zipped to an 11-1 record to open up a four-game lead over second-place CINCINNATI, which was 8-5 over the same period (split four games last week). PHILADELPHIA won two of five while last-place NEW YORK dropped two before beating the Pistons 139-125. SAN FRANCISCO, in first place in the Western Division, took three out of four and sat on a seemingly safe two-game lead over ST. LOUIS, which split four games. Third-place LOS ANGELES, in a little-too-late sprint, won four out of five, and BALTIMORE, closing on a sour note, lost six in a row to extend its losing streak to nine. But last-place DETROIT played its best ball in six weeks and won three of five games, including a big 114-103 victory over the Royals.
Defending Champion NASHVILLE BUSINESS COLLEGE defeated Wayland Baptist College of Plainview, Texas 58-46 in the final to take the women's national AAU championship at St. Joseph, Mo. It was the third year in a row that Nashville had beaten Wayland in the title game, and was the Tennessee school's fifth tournament win in the last seven seasons.
BOATING—CHARLES MORGAN of St. Petersburg, Fla., a designer of ocean-racing sailboats (Paper Tiger and Sabre, for instance) finished 1-2-3-1-3 in the Mid-Winter Snipe regatta in Clearwater, Fla. to regain the title he had won in 1961 and 1962.
BOXING—EDDIE COTTON of Seattle, who lost his No. 1 light-heavyweight ranking when Johnny Persol defeated him by a split decision three weeks earlier, knocked out the previously unbeaten Persol in the fourth round of a scheduled 10-rounder at Madison Square Garden.
European Middleweight Champion LASZLO PAPP of Hungary won a 10-round decision over England's Harry Scott in Vienna, Austria.
GOLF—At the $25,000 St. Petersburg ( Fla.) Open Australia's BRUCE DEVLIN gained the lead in the second round with an eight-under-par 64 and went on to win the tournament with a 272 total, four strokes ahead of second-place Dan Sikes Jr.
GYMNASTICS—The UNITED STATES edged Canada for the team title in the first North American Championships, at West Chester, Pa., leaving Mexico far behind in third place. Air Force Lieut. GREG WEISS, a Penn State graduate, captured the men's all-round title, and the women's all-round championship went to MARIE WALTHER of Kent State University.
HOCKEY—CHICAGO lost both its games, one of them 4-3 to the Canadiens, enabling MONTREAL—which was also shut out twice—to slip back into a first-place tie with only one week left to play. TORONTO had its best time since early December as it defeated the Canadiens 1-0 on Frank Mahovlich's goal and Johnny Bower's fifth shutout, and then beat the Rangers twice in a row. It was also a perfect week for fourth-place DETROIT, which edged the Bruins 2-1 and defeated the Black Hawks 5-3 on Floyd Smith's first NHL hat trick. Hopeless NEW YORK gave up 15 points in three straight losses, while last-place BOSTON, hopeless but hustling, managed to win two out of three.
HORSE RACING—Theodore D. Buhl's GRECIAN PRINCESS ($60), ridden by Kelly Broussard, out-sprinted favored Whit's Pride in the stretch to win the $48,050 Louisiana Derby for 3-year-olds by a neck at New Orleans' Fair Grounds.