1. LOUISVILLE (16-2)
2. KANSAS (12-3)
3. TOLEDO (13-0)
The big basketball weekend in Chicago, starring UCLA's Lew Alcindor and a cast of six teams, was almost wiped out by the worst snowstorm in the city's history. But Friday night's doubleheader was rescheduled for Sunday afternoon, and about 15,000 fans somehow found their way to the Chicago Stadium for Saturday night's tripleheader.
Texas Western, even without academically ineligible Bobby Joe Hill, was too much for Brigham Young. The tough Miners, muscling the Cougars hard and shooting accurately from outside, broke up BYU's zone early and went on to win 85-76. NOTRE DAME, streaking after a bad start, routed Illinois 90-75 for its fifth straight win.
Still, the big attraction was UCLA and Alcindor. Loyola of Chicago elected to play Lew one-on-one with 6'5" Jim Tillman, an old New York school-yard playmate. Tillman did well enough for a half, several times faking Alcindor out of position and even outscoring him 17 points to 14. But Lynn Shackleford, Lucius Allen and Mike Warren got the Bruins a half-time lead. Then Lew's skills began to show. He stopped going for the fake, and Tillman got only four more points. Alcindor finished with 35, including a flashy over-the-head backward stuffer, and UCLA coasted home 82-67. "Any time they" play Alcindor one-on-one," observed Coach John Wooden, "we will do nothing else but feed him the ball."
That should have been warning enough, but the next afternoon Illinois put Dave Scholz, a brash 6'7�" sophomore, on Alcindor and dared the big Bruin to do what he could. Scholz had said earlier, "The man's not perfect. I have a definite plan." Scholz's plan was to play in the corner to draw Alcindor away from the basket, but Lew refused to go. Instead he roamed underneath, blocking shots and grabbing rebounds. He threw in hooks, layups and stuffers until he had 21 field goals and 45 points. Scholz scored 13 baskets, but it was little help to Illinois. UCLA won 120-82. The second game ( Brigham Young-Loyola) failed to materialize when BYU refused to play for religious reasons. "I believe in athletics," said BYU President Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson, "but they do not supersede the Ten Commandments."
Louisville was ready for Bradley when the Braves tried to stop the Cards with a zone defense and a slowdown. Butch Beard cut loose on fast breaks for 20 points, Westley Unseld picked up 23 and 20 rebounds and Bradley went down 81-68. TULSA beat Wichita State 68-61 to take second place behind Louisville in the Missouri Valley, but Cincinnati was surprised by ST. LOUIS 63-60. NORTH TEXAS STATE won its second MVC game, over Drake 79-77.
With Kansas, Kansas State and Colorado all idle, it was no trouble at all for NEBRASKA to get to the top of the Big Eight. The Huskers thrashed Oklahoma 97-76 and last-place Missouri 99-82 for a half-game lead. Northwestern, its game with Ohio State snowed out, still led the Big Ten, but MICHIGAN STATE moved up a step by beating Wisconsin 68-61.
Toledo was going strong in the Mid-American. After a 100-90 victory over Evansville, the undefeated Rockets blasted Kent State 94-70. WESTERN MICHIGAN beat Miami of Ohio 54-50 for second place, DAYTON won twice, over Canisius 83-59 and Miami 71-55, while DEPAUL outscored Niagara 78-65. But Marquette suffered double indignity. The Warriors lost to DETROIT 94-92 in overtime, and Coach Al McGuire wound up in the pokey. It seems that the coach, on his way to the locker room after the game, went to the rescue when he saw a man holding Pat Smith, his center, on the floor. The man turned out to be a cop who claimed Smith had hit a spectator, and McGuire was charged with assault and battery. "It was an innocent thing," protested McGuire.