If ST. JOSEPH'S Coach Jack Ramsay ever had any worry about how his players would react to lofty preseason estimates of their ability, he can forget it. Hofstra, swamped 96-57, never had a chance against the sharp Hawks. Fairfield thought it did when it led by a point after nine minutes. Then St. Joe's began hounding the Stags with an assortment of swarming zone presses. Fairfield lost the ball more than 20 times without taking a shot, slick playmaker Matt Guokas used his fast hands for eight steals (and 25 points) and the Hawks won easily 100-74.
The last time PROVIDENCE played Villanova, Wildcat Coach Jack Kraft got a plaque and his team ended the Friars' 19-game winning streak. So last Saturday Providence's Student Congress saluted Coach Joe Mullaney for his "contributions in spreading the name of Providence nationwide," and the Friars took Villanova 69-59. But it was sticky until Providence's combination defense got around to stopping Villanova's Bill Melchionni. Bill Blair and Mike Riordan got 42 points for the Friars.
Boston College got off to a good start, too, beating Dartmouth 107-85 as John Austin scored 33 points. But new Holy Cross Coach Jack Donohue, who lost only once in three years when he had Lew Alcindor at Power Memorial High in New York, dropped his first college game to HARVARD 76-67. "It was a team effort," cracked Donohue. "We were all bad."
Some of the East's other independents looked good, PENN STATE, fast-breaking and playing sturdy defense, upset Maryland 65-61. ST. JOHN'S, under new Coach Lou Carnesecca, beat Georgetown 64-62 on Bob McIntyre's last-second jumper. SYRACUSE, with Dave Bing firing in 68 points, trounced Buffalo State 118-68 and Buffalo 110-60.
For a while Virginia Tech had DUKE'S Vic Bubas worried. Tech's Bob King, a bulky, 6-foot-10 center, blocked off 6-foot-7 sophomore Mike Lewis, almost stalling Duke's mighty offense. Then Lewis found a way to get around King, and the Blue Devils began to move. Jack Marin shot for 22 points, Bob Verga and Steve Vacendak for 18 each and Duke coasted 112-79. "It was just a case," said Bubas, "of our workhorse [ Lewis] getting our greyhounds running." Three nights later, with everybody running from the start, Duke trounced Clemson 83-68 after the Tigers had upset North Carolina 84-74.
North Carolina, meanwhile, recovered to open its new 8,600-seat Carmichael Auditorium in style. While the Tar Heels stymied William & Mary with a pressure defense, Bob Lewis scored 34 points to lead Carolina to an 82-68 win. "We hope to make this a winning palace—a blue heaven," said Coach Dean Smith.
Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Tennessee looked like the class of the SEC. VANDERBILT toyed with little Wittenberg, routing the Tigers 87-59, while KENTUCKY, smallish but quick, bombed Hardin-Simmons 83-55 and Virginia 99-73. TENNESSEE beat the Quantico Marines 65-56.
West Virginia, pressing and running like all get-out for new Coach Bucky Waters, squashed VMI 69-58 with the help of 20 points by junior college transfer Carl Head, and then routed George Washington as sophomore Ron Williams, the first Negro to play in the Southern Conference, scored 30 points. LOUISVILLE'S 6-foot-8 sophomore Westley Unseld did everything expected of him when the Cards beat Georgetown (Ky.) 77-58 and Central Missouri 81-72. Unseld had a total of 40 points and 54 rebounds.