1. MARQUETTE (16-3)
2. LOUISVILLE (14-6)
3. OHIO STATE (13-4)
Louisville Coach John Dromo, a dandy who wears a new shirt to every game, looked like a wilted flower after his team barely beat Drake 67-66. "That's the best team we've played this year," he said. Wichita State, on the road, was just as tough for Dromo's Missouri Valley leaders, who won 93-91 in overtime. Louisville, which leads Bradley by a game and Drake by one and a half, has only one more game away from home—against Drake.
Kansas was back in the Big Eight race, a half game behind Nebraska, but the way the Jayhawks got there hardly soothed Coach Ted Owens' chronic ulcer. Kansas squeezed past Oklahoma State 52-50 and Colorado 75-72. Nebraska took over the lead by beating Oklahoma 89-83 and Kansas State 92-68, while Iowa State was losing to Oklahoma 87-68.
The Big Ten was beginning to take Ohio State seriously after the Bucks put down Indiana 78-77 on Dan Andreas' shot at the buzzer and then trampled Michigan State 90-62. But Iowa and Northwestern were only a game behind. The Mid-American was even closer. Bowling Green, a 78-68 winner over Ohio U., tied Toledo for the lead when the Rockets were upset by Marshall 93-89.
Marquette Coach Al McGuire spent all week psyching up Pat Smith for Loyola of Chicago. He told Smith to think about Loyola's Jim Tillman, an old New York schoolyard playmate, and how he had to be aggressive against him. It worked. Smith got nine points in the first 10 minutes, took charge of the boards and Marquette won 71-57. The Warriors also bombed Xavier 72-57. Loyola came back to take weary New Mexico State 81-75. Notre Dame defeated DePaul 91-85 in overtime, but Duke was too strong for the Irish. The Blue Devils won 73-67.
1. HOUSTON (21-0)
2. NEW MEXICO STATE (18-4)
3. BAYLOR (14-4)
Unbeaten Houston, whose schedule the rest of the season is strictly patty-cake, fattened up at the expense of Centenary. It was hard to tell who enjoyed himself more—Elvin Hayes, who scored 50 points, or Coach Guy Lewis, who watched his Cougars pour it on 107-56.
Everybody expected the shots to fly when Creighton's Bob Portman, the nation's fourth best scorer, and Oklahoma City's Rich Travis, who ranks sixth, got together in a shooting match and no one was disappointed. Portman scored 39 and Travis 38, but Oklahoma City won 112-86. Then the Chiefs got ambushed in Canyon. West Texas State beat them 105-87.