St. John's Joe Lapchick said flatly last week, " Miami's Rick Barry is a sure pro star," and then his Redmen set out to prove it. They let the slickest shooter in the land get away for 39 points, but St. John's beat the Hurricanes anyway, 79-77. PROVIDENCE was still unbeaten, too. The Friars battered Brown 93-63 and St. Francis ( N.Y.) 86-55.
Philadelphia's Big Five was showing plenty of muscle. VILLANOVA'S Bill Melchionni outscored Princeton's Bill Bradley 24 to 23 and got the winning basket in a 61-60 overtime victory. ST. JOSEPH'S took St. Peter's 98-82 and Hofstra 89-69. LA SALLE defeated Miami 90-86 and Niagara 67-59 in overtime. TEMPLE rolled over Lehigh 80-34 and Boston U. 73-62. PENN'S Ivy Leaguers whaled Delaware 77-34 and Tulane 88-57.
The Ivy League was shaping up as a three-way fight. Penn and CORNELL, which nosed out Syracuse 73-72 and Army 65-61, were still unbeaten, while PRINCETON bounced back to take Colgate 81-53 and Navy 77-67.
THE TOP THREE:
1. BAYLOR (4-0)
2. OKLAHOMA CITY (3-1)
3. TEXAS A&M (4-1)
Southwest Conference fans have learned never to put much stock in preseason rankings. Somehow the favorites almost always fade away like that famous yellow rose. Right now BAYLOR, one of the least likely contenders, is acting mighty chipper after trampling Trinity 139-88. TEXAS A&M looks good, too. The Aggies coasted past Sam Houston 75-58 and got even with Memphis State, their only conqueror, 81-71. But Texas Tech, the favorite, was still struggling. The Raiders lost to ARIZONA 77-75 before beating Wyoming 98-87.
Oklahoma City's Abe Lemons was smiling again. His Chiefs beat North Texas State 81-73 and Wyoming 99-90. TEXAS WESTERN, however, split four games, beating East Texas State 65-49 and Colorado State 63-50 and losing to WICHITA 73-55 and DENVER 56-55. Houston lost to OHIO STATE 77-69 and NORTH TEXAS 60-48, then edged TCU 67-62.
THE TOP THREE: