After his Duke team was beaten by North Carolina 75-72, Coach Vic Bubas reflected on the game and said, "You know what flashed through my mind as I watched? I would think, 'We've got Superman [ Larry Miller] covered, but Zorro [ Charlie Scott] is doing a heck of a job!' " Zorro was murder against the Blue Devils. He scored inside, outside, from the corner and from out front for 20 points, and grabbed 11 rebounds. When the Duke 2-3 zone became effective, he went to the post and fed Miller and Rusty Clark for easy layups. Earlier, Davidson lost the battle for rebounds and their game to Duke, 89-84. Maryland could make only seven of 33 during the first half, and North Carolina rolled, 68-52.
Vanderbilt students made a conscious effort to be courteous when the Commodores played Kentucky, and the Wildcats were so pleased, possibly, that they made 15 of their first 18 shots and went on to embarrass the Commodores 94-78. "I knew we were in for nothing but trouble," said Vandy Coach Roy Skinner after the game. "Anytime you play Kentucky you are in for trouble."
Jokes about Georgia basketball used to be as plentiful as Aggie jokes in Texas; that is, until this season. Ken Rosemond's team has won six straight, and now members of the SEC are showing a great deal of respect. "We felt all along that we might not win the SEC but we would have a say in who did," says Rosemond. "Now we feel we have as good a chance as anyone." Georgia started the week by beating Mississippi 70-64. Then, while waiting at the Oxford Airport for their chartered plane, they saw it crash and burn. After arriving home two days late, the Bulldogs beat Mississippi State 72-69.
Pete Maravich seemed listless but still scored 55 points against Auburn as LSU won 76-72. Against Florida Maravich got "only" 32 and the Gators got the win, 97-90, behind Neal Walk's 39 points. Earlier, Florida beat Mississippi 70-68.
In the biggest upset of the Southern Conference season, VMI took West Virginia 92-90. "It was a dream come true," said Coach Gary McPherson after the game. Sadly, VMI woke up in its next game and lost to Wake Forest 92-60.
1. MARQUETTE (10-2)
2. TOLEDO (8-2)
3. OHIO STATE (7-2)
After losing 16 of 25 games against outside opponents over the holidays, Big Ten teams welcomed each other back with open arms. Defending co-champion Indiana, playing its first home game in nearly a month, rallied in the second half to beat Minnesota 74-59. The other co-champion found the going tougher. Illinois held Michigan State scoreless for 6� minutes in the second half and won 66-56. Preseason favorite Purdue ran into a four-man zone with a chaser and lost to Ohio State 108-80. Guard Dennis Meadors was the chaser, and he held Purdue's Rick Mount to two points in the second half and 19 for the game. Wisconsin Guard Mike Carlin stole the ball with the score tied to give the Badgers a 77-75 victory over Michigan. Northwestern beat Iowa and Sam Williams 76-67.
In the Big Eight Tournament after Christmas, Nebraska won three games and Iowa State lost three, so Husker Coach Joe Cipriano feared that his players would be at a psychological disadvantage when they opened the conference race in Ames. He was right. With 6'8" Don Smith getting 39 points, the Cyclones won easily 85-70.
Even though Kansas hadn't jumped off to its expected fast start, 14,000 people turned out in five-below-zero weather to watch the Jayhawks whip Colorado 66-50. Oklahoma edged Missouri 71-70 while Kansas State, with 7'1" Nick Pino on the bench most of the second half, beat Oklahoma State 56-46.