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Mervin Hyman
March 18, 1968
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March 18, 1968

Basketball's Week

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2. COLUMBIA (22-4)
3. ARMY (20-4)

An hour before the Ivy League playoff, the neutral St. John's gym was jumping. The Columbia and Princeton bands took turns tootling up a storm, and there was a festive air all around. But once the game began it was Columbia's party. Coach Jack Rohan started Newmark, who had missed four games with a severely sprained ankle, and that did wonders for the Lions. Newmark fought the Tigers' big men on the boards and, more important, used his bulk to set picks for his more agile teammates. With 14 minutes to go, Princeton was out of it. McMillian, faking the Tigers' John Hummer out of his shoes, scored 37 points, Walaszek had 20, Dotson 19 and Columbia won 92-74 for its first Ivy title since 1951. "I just kept hoping for the game to end," said Rohan, "and thinking how sweet it is."

It was a time for old rivalries in New York's Garden. NYU ended Rutgers' seven-game winning streak 56-49, while Fordham beat Manhattan 72-66. But the Rams had to break a 62-62 tie with 2� minutes to play to win. With six seconds to go, Fordham Coach Johnny Bach was so happy he lit up a victory cigar—and he doesn't smoke.

All the other tournament-bound teams won, too. St. Bonaventure got a scare but managed to outlast Fairfield 70-69 in overtime. Villanova beat Seton Hall 80-66, while Duquesne outscored St. Francis of Loretto, Pa. 109-103. St. Peter's clobbered Fairleigh Dickinson 106-80 to win New York's Met Conference championship.

Niagara's flashy little Calvin Murphy, who may not be back next year—there are rumors he will transfer—finished the season with a flourish against Canisius. He scored 41 points (his average for the year: 38.2) as Niagara won 96-84.


2. KENTUCKY (21-4)
3. DAVIDSON (23-4)

Everything was going along famously in the Atlantic Coast tournament in Charlotte. The favorites all won in the first round, and the prospect was North Carolina against Duke, a perfect matchup, in the final. Then North Carolina State's Norm Sloan wrecked the act. He threw a stall at Duke and, while Bill Kretzer and Eddie Biedenbach calmly played catch, the Blue Devils stubbornly sat in their zone. Duke led 4-2 at the half and 8-6 with 16 minutes to go. For the next 13:45, the Wolfpack held the ball without taking a shot and, at one point, bored Radiocaster Bill Currie, "The Mouth of the South," advised his listeners, "This is as thrilling as artificial insemination." Eventually, Duke lost 12-10, and even Coach Vic Bubas had to admit he had made a grievous error in not telling his team to go after the ball. "I've made some good decisions this year," said Bubas, "but I guess this wasn't one of them." Right.

Nobody, however, was about to hold the ball against North Carolina. South Carolina, which has been known to stall on occasion, decided to run with the Tar Heels and almost had them for a second time. Carolina had to go into overtime to take the Gamecocks 82-79 as Larry Miller got 24 points and Dick Grubar 20. North Carolina State was next, and this time Sloan played it straight, knowing that NC's aggressive press would not permit a stall. But the Tar Heels embarrassed themselves in the first half, stumbling to a mere 31-26 lead. Miller and Charlie Scott finally got Carolina's fast break going and the Tar Heels won easily 87-50 to get into the NCAA tournament.


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