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BASKETBALL'S WEEK
Mervin Hyman
March 04, 1968
THE TOURNAMENTS
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March 04, 1968

Basketball's Week

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THE SOUTH

1. NORTH CAROLINA (22-1)
2. KENTUCKY (19-4)
3. DAVIDSON (19-4)

Adolph Rupp's problem has never been one of communication with his players. After all, what is there to puzzle over when The Baron barges off the bench, stomps, pounds his fist into his palm and tongue-lashes erring Wildcats? His timing was perfect last Saturday night. Alabama's Mike Nordholz had just gotten away for two easy layups to cut Kentucky's lead to a single point when Rupp, scowling darkly, got up and did his bit. Sophomores Dan Issel, Mike Casey and Mike Pratt responded. They scored 28, 22 and 19 points, respectively, to lead the Wildcats to a 96-83 victory that probably ended the SEC race.

The win assured Kentucky of at least a tie for the title. Georgia, which had lost earlier to the Wildcats 106-87, upset Vanderbilt 91-77, and Auburn shocked Tennessee 53-52 at Knoxville, where the Big Orange had won 33 in a row. It was a typical week for LSU's Pete Maravich (page 22). He scored 34 as LSU beat Mississippi State 94-83, 55 more in a 99-92 win over Tulane to become the first sophomore to get more than 1,000 points in a season, and 40 while his team was losing to Mississippi 87-85.

To nobody's surprise, North Carolina rolled over Maryland 83-60 and Virginia 92-74—for its 20th straight—to win the regular-season championship in the ACC. Duke, however, ran into trouble. The Blue Devils survived a 10�-minute stall by Wake Forest to win 50-41, and then two nights later South Carolina started off with the same tactics at Durham. Duke quickly moved out of its 1-2-2 zone into a pressing man-to-man to stir up the action, but the Gamecocks, led by Jack Thompson's 22 points, won 56-50.

Davidson pounded Richmond 106-89—and beat independent Tulane 76-68—to win the Southern Conference title, but the Wildcats will have to do it all over again in the conference tournament at Charlotte this weekend to get to the NCAA tournament. Runner-up West Virginia polished off Pitt 87-76 and George Washington 90-72, while East Tennessee took over the Ohio Valley lead when Western Kentucky beat Murray State 86-83.

THE MIDWEST

1. MARQUETTE (20-3)
2. LOUISVILLE (18-6)
3. KANSAS (16-6)

Louisville's John Dromo breathed a sigh of relief last Saturday night and said, "I'll sleep tonight for the first time in two months." His Cards, who had slumped horribly at the start of the season and then given him fits even when they began to win, had just taken Wichita State 98-88 to win the Missouri Valley title.

The Mid-American race also was decided when Bowling Green edged Kent State 65-63 and ran over Ohio U. 84-63. But the Big Ten and Big Eight were still up in the air. Purdue, now that Coach George King has settled on his offense—"give the ball to Rick Mount and let him shoot"—was making its move in the Big Ten. With Mount scoring 38 points, Purdue beat Iowa 86-73 to knock the Hawks out of the lead and then did the same thing to Ohio State 93-72 as Mount gunned for 34. That put Purdue in first place, along with Iowa, which bounced back into a tie by defeating Indiana 78-70.

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