Michigan's Dave Strack apparently has taken a leaf from the book that hit him at the NCAA tournament last year. When Tennessee got to Ann Arbor, Strack's Wolves greeted their guests with a full-court press. It did not exactly obliterate the Vols—Cazzie Russell took care of that—but it did surprise them. Every time Tennessee got close, there was Russell to pull Michigan away with a basket. Cazzie scored 29 points, and the Wolves won 71-63. After that, Bowling Green was easy for Michigan. The overwhelmed Falcons succumbed 108-70.
A couple of other Big Tenners were busy scaring up some competition for Michigan. IOWA'S runners and gunners routed Pepperdine 111-50 and then broke Evansville's 35-game winning streak 80-73, at Evansville no less. MINNESOTA showed some muscle, too, beating North Dakota 73-59 and Iowa State 80-69.
Kansas State's Tex Winter had nothing but trouble. Winter started his "big" team against CREIGHTON and the Bluejays' littlest man, 5-foot-9� Bobby Miles, scurried in and around the giant Wildcats for 23 points as Creighton won 83-75. So Winter went to a smaller and faster five for TULSA. The Hurricanes blew them off the court 70-63.
Bradley lived up to its notices. The Braves thumped Wisconsin- Milwaukee 104-68 and Northern Michigan 90-78. ST. LOUIS, without notices, edged Oklahoma State 61-57 and Southern California 77-72.
About the only thing predictable in the Southwest Conference is that its best teams will be hammered by nonleague opponents early in the season. Texas Tech, considered the SWC team most likely to succeed, got it twice, unexpectedly from COLORADO 86-77 at Boulder, and expectedly from KANSAS 74-70 in Lubbock. Smooth Kansas, which earlier had smothered Arkansas 81-52, just had too much finesse for the Raiders. Six-foot-11 Walt Wesley floated his soft hook shots over them for 34 points while Al Lopes got 17 with his arching jumpers.
Southern Methodist and Texas Christian also suffered. The Mustangs let OKLAHOMA CITY'S John Ware, a 6-foot-7 leaper, take the boards away from them—for 25 rebounds and 20 points—and the Chiefs ran off with the game 97-90. But later, SOUTHERN METHODIST did manage to escape Georgia Tech's zone press to win 83-73. Texas Christian, however, lost to GEORGIA TECH 112-87 and GEORGIA 76-75 in overtime.
All summer long TEXAS A&M'S Shelby Metcalf dreamed about how it would be with Olympic track star Randy Matson, a 6-foot-6� giant who has put the shot over 70 feet, crashing the boards and shooting basketballs for him. Last week Metcalf found out. Matson, slimmed down to 244 pounds (from 265), grabbed 18 rebounds and scored 15 points as the Aggies beat Trinity 79-70.