UCLA visited the Midwest, but the West still had some superior performers at home, ranging in size from 7'1" Ron Taylor of USC, who got his hook shot working, to 5'8" Charley Criss of New Mexico State, who executes what might be called a Hummingbird Jump Shot. Taylor, a senior who was called Big O (for Oaf) for two seasons, did not score against Houston until the second half, but then he collected 11 points to upset the Cougars 65-64. And he had 18 points and 16 rebounds in an 84-54 defeat of Loyola of California. "His improvement," said Trojan Coach Bob Boyd, "has been fantastic. He now has a hook shot that almost nobody is going to be able to stop." Criss, who seems to hover in mid-air as he goes through his jump-shot routine, was the MVP of the Aggies' dedication tournament for their new $3.5 million Pan American Center. He scored 50 points as the Aggies downed Colorado State 95-89 and Texas-El Paso 51-49. Against Brigham Young, teammate Sam Lacey blocked five shots, and when the Mormons tried outside shots they were Criss-crossed by Charley, who stole the ball six times in an 83-65 victory.
Vic Bartolome of Oregon State sank 20 of 24 shots as the Beavers split with Nebraska, winning 79-67 and losing 85-77. Another high scorer was 6'8" Marv Roberts of Utah State, who averaged 33.3 points in four games. After Roberts made 35 points in an 83-75 win over Washington, Huskies coach Tex Winter said, "He is the greatest offensive performer as a sophomore I have seen." Weber State won the Golden Spike Tournament, defeating Pepperdine 73-48 and Nevada 75-57 as Willie Sojourner and Justus Thigpen each scored 38 points. California trounced San Francisco 82-71, San Jose State 103-98 and St. Mary's 84-77, and New Mexico eased past Hawaii 63-56 and 77-62. Santa Clara also had an easy time of it, whipping California (Davis) 94-66 and Fresno State 82-65.
1. NOTRE DAME (1-1)
2. KANSAS (2-1)
3. CINCINNATI (3-0)
Big surprises were Wisconsin's 67-62 win over Kansas and Minnesota's 75-73 defeat of Marquette. The Badgers then overwhelmed North Dakota 94-48, while KU and Marquette regrouped to beat Loyola of Chicago 93-61 and Portland 75-53, respectively. UCLA gamboled through the Midwest, handing Ohio State an 84-73 loss and disposing of Notre Dame 88-75 (page 30). Although Toledo beat Michigan 89-76 and Ohio U. defeated Indiana 80-70, the Big Ten was strong in other games. Michigan State downed Western Michigan 86-71, Southwestern Louisiana 90-84 and, with Bernie Copeland scoring in the final second of overtime, Toledo 81-80. It was Michigan over Northern Illinois 93-85 and Western Michigan 109-99. Purdue's Rick Mount scored 53 points in victories over Miami (78-70) and North Dakota (116-84). Olympian Spencer Haywood had 109 points as Detroit won three times. Cincinnati used its new run-run tactics to sprint past Kansas State 86-70 and North Dakota State 83-54, with Don Ogletree getting 44 points. Ken Spain's 47 points helped Houston drub Pepperdine 80-60 and Arizona 85-64. TCU won two games, including an 87-84 squeaker against Oklahoma City. Colorado boosted its record to 4-0 by downing Texas Tech 81-77 and Texas 92-75, while Dayton came through with an impressive pair of victories over Bowling Green and Gannon.