THE TOP THREE:
1. VANDERBILT (22-3)
2. N. CAROLINA STATE (20-4)
3. DAVIDSON (24-2)
North Carolina State's Press Maravich, by nature an effusive man, was nearly delirious with joy after his team, which finished second in the regular season, upset first-place Duke 91-85 in the Atlantic Coast tournament final at Raleigh. He was especially happy with Larry Worsley, a lanky 6-foot-5 junior who came off the bench to shoot the Blue Devils silly. Duke tried to stop him with a box-and-one, a 1-3-1 zone and even a pressure man-to-man, but Worsley, whirling skillfully away from his tormentors, scored 30 points. How would Maravich describe his team? "Dobro, dobro," he said in his best Serbian. English translation: "Excellent, excellent."
Vanderbilt was home free in the Southeastern after FLORIDA upset Tennessee 58-56. Vandy simply throttled Auburn 79-64 and Tulane 85-62 to win the title.
THE TOP THREE:
1. MICHIGAN (21-2)
2. MINNESOTA (18-5)
3. ILLINOIS (17-6)
For a long time MICHIGAN had to be satisfied with an occasional piece of the Big Ten championship. Last week the showy Wolverines got it all for the first time in 17 years. But it was not easy. Minnesota kept coming at them relentlessly and even led by five points with 6� minutes to go. It took a typical Michigan rally—big shots by Bill Buntin, Cazzie Russell and Oliver Darden—to fight off the second-place Gophers 88-85. "That was no place for a craven kid today," gushed Coach Dave Strack. "I'm just exuberant."
Some folks think that OKLAHOMA STATE'S patient Hank Iba invented deliberate basketball. If he did not, he must surely know more about how to play it than any other coach. Last Saturday his carefully disciplined Cowboys took only 37 shots against Kansas and made 20 of them and it earned Oklahoma State a 64-58 victory over the Jayhawks for Iba's first Big Eight title.
Wichita State's Missouri Valley champions played a control game, too, but more out of fear than anything else. The Shockers are just reluctant to trade shots with anyone these days. They got past Tulsa 59-48 and Drake 76-64 in overtime, but in between LOUISVILLE caught Wichita with its defenses lagging and beat the Shockers 79-70. It could be that BRADLEY is now the best team in the conference. Ernie Thompson's 25 points led the Braves on a 62% shooting tear as they edged St. Louis 94-91 in overtime to tie the Bills for second place.