TCU, however, enjoyed a temporary delusion of grandeur. The Frogs, who had lost 15 straight, used a crackling fast break to trample little Austin 91-66. But OHIO STATE brought TCU back to reality as it beat the Frogs 84-79.
SMU'S young Mustangs, led by sophomores Denny Holman, Charlie Beasley and Bob Begert, survived a tight press by Oklahoma City and surprised the Chiefs 89-76. Coach Abe Lemons was aghast. "The worst game anybody has ever played for me," wailed the Oklahoma City philosopher. "I hope SMU's the best team in the nation. If not, we're in trouble." Lemons' Chiefs may be in trouble at that. SMU is far from the best and OKLAHOMA CITY was not exactly devastating as it edged Centenary 78-76.
HOUSTON, despite a 76-65 loss to WISCONSIN, may have the most enterprising Lebanese since Danny Thomas. Joe Hamood, a 5-foot-11 playmaker, scored 27 points as the Cougars belted Texas A&I 94-71.
SAN FRANCISCO's Ollie Johnson figures it is a night wasted when he does not get more rebounds than anyone else. He gave Oregon State a sample of his skills and the Beavers succumbed, 66-58. Stanford was supposed to give San Francisco more of a fight, but Johnson was on the job again. He took down 17 rebounds, fired in 20 points and the Dons won, 77-50. But San Francisco was one of the few West Coast AC teams that could win. CALIFORNIA'S pressing defense so thoroughly intimidated St. Mary's that the Gaels were swamped, 62-44. "This team is so highly touted that it scares me," said Stan Watts of his BRIGHAM YOUNG crew. Then he sent his dozen talented young Cougars racehorsing up and down the court against Oregon. They scared the Ducks, too. Lanky John Fairchild arched in 30 points, and BYU won 99-70. The next night, cocky Mike Gardner shot over Oregon for 26 points and BYU won again, 98-79.
Brigham Young, however, will not lack for challengers in the Western AC. UTAH, supposedly a collection of misfits, turned out to be a typical Jack Gardner team—fast-breaking, ball-stealing and tough on defense. The Utes racked up New Mexico State 98-65, Loyola of Los Angeles 99-65 and Butler 95-66. WYOMING, with Flynn Robinson shooting for 52 points, walloped Nebraska 94-68 and Weber State 89-75. ARIZONA took Seattle by surprise, 76-71.
Six-foot-six Wayne Estes, slimmer, swifter and even more adept, was back at his old tricks for independent UTAH STATE. He led the Aggies to victories over Idaho State 107-60, Butler 88-74 and Loyola 96-69. COLORADO STATE outlasted Air Force 68-66 in overtime, then beat Denver 79-65 in the Mile High Classic final in Denver.