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Basketball's Week
Mervin Hyman
January 10, 1966
Conference races have barely begun, yet there remain just two undefeated teams in the country, Kentucky and Texas Western. Since most of the major preconference games are intersectionals, this indicates a continuing, welcome trend toward nationwide balance of power. Western is an independent; Kentucky meets SEC favorite Vanderbilt next Saturday
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January 10, 1966

Basketball's Week

Conference races have barely begun, yet there remain just two undefeated teams in the country, Kentucky and Texas Western. Since most of the major preconference games are intersectionals, this indicates a continuing, welcome trend toward nationwide balance of power. Western is an independent; Kentucky meets SEC favorite Vanderbilt next Saturday

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THE EAST

1. ST. JOSEPH'S (9-2)
2. PROVIDENCE (8-1)
3. SYRACUSE (9-1)

While ST. JOSEPH'S was destroying Temple 97-65 in Philadelphia's Quaker City tournament (page 20), some 60,000 who crowded into New York's Madison Square Garden for the three-day Holiday Festival came away convinced that PROVIDENCE'S Jimmy Walker was college basketball's newest superstar. Rarely has one player so dominated an entire tournament. Whether he was dribbling his opponent into a one-on-one situation and then scoring with deft fakes and an unstoppable, wriggling jump shot or passing off with amazing speed and accuracy, Walker was simply superb. His 29 points and quick little jumper at the end got the Friars past NYU 79-76. He scored 39 as cousin Bill Blair's tap-in overtook Illinois 81-79 in the final seconds. But he saved his best game for last. In the title match against Boston College, which earlier had beaten Colorado State 86-64 and Army 92-85, he just kept coming at the Eagles with his slick moves and shots until he had 50 points—to tie Oscar Robertson's Festival record—and Providence had a 91-86 victory. Boston College's 6-foot-8 Willie Wolters, whose stout rebounding and hook shots (for 26 points) had kept the Eagles in the game, said sadly, "It was frustrating to know he had the ball, was going to score, and yet you couldn't do anything about it."

In other holiday tournaments, COLUMBIA took Brown 83-63 in the Kodak City Classic at Rochester while DRAKE beat Holy Cross 65-52 in the Queen City at Buffalo.

THE WEST

1. UCLA (7-3)
2. SAN FRANCISCO (9-2)
3. BRIGHAM YOUNG (8-1)

Curiously, UCLA never once went to its famed zone press, even when mediocre Louisiana State challenged the Bruins in the opening round of the Los Angeles Classic. The Uclans won all right, 95-89, but Coach Johnny Wooden's strategy raised an eyebrow or two. The reason, however, was quite obvious when the Bruins played Purdue. Wooden had a new wrinkle ready for the unsuspecting Boilermakers. Mike Lynn and Doug McIntosh, the agile giants with killer instinct, were still up front to counter the inbounds pass, but big leaper Edgar Lacey was now playing opposite little Mike Warren, and Kenny Washington was the new safety man in the 2-2-1 zone press. The result was devastating. Under the zone's attack Purdue quickly lost its poise and then the ball game 82-70. In the final against old rival Southern California, a 74-72 surprise winner over unbeaten Vanderbilt, the blitzing Uclans forced the Trojans into 17 turnovers in the first half alone and smothered them 94-76. Washington, playing guard, hit 10 of 11 field-goal tries and scored 23 points. Even Wooden was impressed. "We're coming along fast," he admitted.

Although Syracuse failed to survive the opening round in Los Angeles, losing to VANDERBILT 113-98, Dave Bing, a lithe jump shooter with marvelous moves, was the hit of the tournament. He scored 46 points against Vandy, 25 as SYRACUSE trounced Northwestern 105-75 in the consolation semifinal, and 38 when the Orange beat St. John's 113-97 for fifth place. He earned the tourney's Most Valuable Player award.

Michigan's Dave Strack was depressed when his Wolverines lost to ARIZONA STATE 89-87 in the opening round of the Far West Classic in Portland, Ore. But Strack should have known that this is one tournament OREGON STATE always wins. The ball-control Beavers beat Air Force 53-42, Arizona State 56-46 and Stanford 62-46 to take the title for the 10th straight year.

San Francisco was an easy winner in the West Coast AC tournament, beating Santa Clara 76-65, Pacific 76-61 and Santa Barbara 86-79. SEATTLE defeated Texas 95-80 and Arizona 79-74 in the home-town American Legion Invitational while NEW MEXICO smashed Tulane 78-56 and Idaho 99-81 in the Lobo Invitational at Albuquerque, TULSA and St. Louis, two Missouri Valley teams, fought it out in Honolulu's Rainbow Classic. The Hurricanes won 70-64.

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