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Basketball's Week
Mervin Hyman
January 17, 1966
The major conference races had barely begun and already there were significant signs that some favorites were in for real trouble. Vanderbilt had undefeated Kentucky to contend with in the SEC, Kansas had three sturdy challengers in the Big Eight, so did Princeton in the Ivy League, while Michigan was worried about almost everyone in the Big Ten
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January 17, 1966

Basketball's Week

The major conference races had barely begun and already there were significant signs that some favorites were in for real trouble. Vanderbilt had undefeated Kentucky to contend with in the SEC, Kansas had three sturdy challengers in the Big Eight, so did Princeton in the Ivy League, while Michigan was worried about almost everyone in the Big Ten

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Kentucky, fast-breaking in its usual style against St. Louis, had a comfortable early lead when Buddy Brehmer, the Bills' rookie coach, suddenly came up with a way to harass the Wildcats. After every successful St. Louis foul shot, Brehmer sent in a substitute, thereby stopping the clock, cutting off Kentucky's break and, incidentally, giving the Bills time to set up their pressing defense. Kentucky won anyway 80-70, but Adolph Rupp did not quite appreciate Brehmer's gimmick. Grumped The Baron, "The rules-makers will look over this situation with bifocals."

Actually, Rupp had more to worry about than St. Louis' tricks. He had to get Kentucky ready for this Saturday's SEC showdown with VANDERBILT. The smallish Wildcats, led by sophomore Center Thad Jaracz's 26 points, thumped Florida 78-64. But Vandy, with 6-foot-9 Clyde Lee throwing in enough points (44) to break his school's career scoring record (he has 1,409), looked good enough to beat anyone as it smashed Tulane 91-69 and Georgia 77-63. And both teams will have to reckon with TENNESSEE. The classy Vols buried Tulane 64-46, Fur-man 82-63 and Mississippi 102-55.

Duke, propping for the big ACC game with North Carolina, experimented against Penn State. The Blue Devils put away their full-court press, tried out a few other defenses and won easily, 83-58. In the North Carolina game, Duke started with a man-to-man, went to a press for a while and then finished with a tight zone. Coach Vic Bubas even used his two big centers, 6-foot-7 Mike Lewis and 6-foot-8 Warren Chapman, on a double post. Everything worked. Jack Marin held Carolina's Bobby Lewis to 18 points and scored 23 himself, Bob Verga shot in 29 and the Devils won 88-77. NORTH CAROLINA STATE, however, was still very much in the running. The Wolfpack squeaked past South Carolina 55-54 and beat Virginia 86-69 to tie Duke for the ACC lead.

West Virginia's snappy start was turning into a disaster. DAVIDSON, young and coming on strong, took on the Mountaineers at Charlotte and trounced them 105-79 to hold first place in the Southern Conference. Dick Snyder, an old hand at that sort of thing, poured in 35 points, WESTERN KENTUCKY, now 10-1, routed Tennessee Tech 120-92 in an Ohio Valley opener.

It was a good week for some independents. VIRGINIA TECH knocked over William & Mary 76-69, Richmond 88-73 and Pitt 100-74 while MEMPHIS STATE surprised touring Oklahoma City 97-87. GEORGIA TECH, although crippled by injuries and academic casualties, still trimmed Pitt 89-77 and Clemson 87-72, prompting Coach Whack Hyder to admit, "We're living dangerously, so I'm going to take time to enjoy every victory." Alas, Hyder did not have much time. WAKE FOREST whipped his Jackets 96-80.

THE WEST

1. UCLA (9-3)
2. SAN FRANCISCO (10-2)
3. BRIGHAM YOUNG (10-1)

More and more it was apparent to West Coast teams that catching UCLA would be as frustrating as ever. Oregon State's Paul Valenti figured there was only one way to skin the talented Bruins: with a disciplined ball-control game. And, for a while, his Beavers did just fine with it. State had the Uclans in a 13-13 tie after the first 11 minutes. Then Coach Johnny Wooden's opportunists began to wheel and deal. They zone-pressed relentlessly, controlled both boards, ran like demons, and all of a sudden the Beavers were out of it. Edgar Lacey and Mike Warren each scored 18 points as the Bruins won 79-35. Oregon's lot was just as dismal the next night. UCLA had the boards again, this time Mike Lynn got 20 points and Kenny Washington 18, and the Bruins coasted 97-65 to their 35th straight AAWU victory.

Meanwhile, across town, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA breezed past Oregon 92-66 Friday night and had OREGON STATE beaten 56-55 with 36 seconds to go on Saturday, but the Trojans blew it. A bad pass gave the Beavers the ball, and they quickly shoved in four points to win 59-56. Up north, CALIFORNIA took Washington State 71-70, and STANFORD beat Washington 83-78 in overtime.

San Francisco was off to a good start in the WCAC race. The Dons, setting up their shots carefully, beat Santa Clara 81-64. PACIFIC, however, had to come from behind to catch St. Mary's 81-68.

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