1. NOTRE DAME (3-1)
2. KANSAS (5-1)
3. CINCINNATI (4-0)
"There will be fewer real strong teams this season because everybody's going to be up and down," said Oklahoma City's Abe Lemons in an early season appraisal. "Boys seem to have a lot on their minds besides playing ball. It takes something every day for a coach to get 'em to go. I've talked to other coaches and we all have the same problem." Against TCU, which had beaten his Chiefs the week before, Lemons trailed by 15 points as he shuffled all 10 of his players "till we found the five who could play for us." The five came back for an 86-84 victory.
Marquette's Al McGuire had his own theory about ups and downs. "Flu is going to have a lot to do with what happens to teams in the next few weeks," he said, but his hypothesis seemed to be working in reverse. Despite their health, his Warriors were upset by Drake 68-63. Then, after McGuire and several of his players had been stricken by flu, the Warriors stopped Denver 81-70.
Ohio State Coach Fred Taylor also lost a bout with the flu, but, like Marquette, his Buckeyes won their on-court war by downing Harvard 89-74. Other Big Ten teams had moderate success. Illinois won twice, pressuring North Dakota into 16 first-half turnovers and then outrebounding Iowa State 56-34. Rick Mount scored 71 points as Purdue knocked off Butler and Ohio U. Northwestern stopped its stand-around tactics and hustled to an 83-66 victory over previously unbeaten Colorado. Iowa, though, was a two-time loser. Wichita State, with Ron Washington pumping in 30 points, took care of the Hawkeyes 93-88, and then surprisingly strong Drake used a half-court press and tossed in 18 straight points to hand Iowa an 89-74 setback. Western Kentucky ended Michigan State's four-game win streak, 67-63.
Cincinnati's Jim Ard came through with one of the finest all-round performances of the season, scoring 21 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and blocking 10 shots as the Bearcats struggled past Miami of Ohio 56-48.
If Louisville Coach John Dromo had not been prodded into starting Bill Perkins, his team's winning streak might not have lasted. For weeks, Louisville fans had pleaded with Dromo to start 6'9" sophomore Perkins. Dromo resisted—until he faced Dayton, conqueror of Portland and Miami of Ohio. Perkins did not play very long, but he did block several key shots as the Cardinals won 84-69. Of even more help in boosting Louisville's record to 5-0 were Butch Beard (25 points, seven assists) and Mike Grosso (21 points and 19 rebounds). Grosso was even more effective against SMU. Grabbing 19 rebounds and screening for his teammates (but mostly Beard, who scored 35 points), he led the Cardinals to a 79-73 win.
1. VILLANOVA (4-0)
2. LA SALLE (4-0)
3. COLUMBIA (4-0)
McGuire's flu theory also worked in reverse as La Salle beat Niagara 88-73. Roland Taylor of the Explorers, against whom Calvin Murphy of the Purple Eagles scored 52 points last season, was out with the flu. But Frank Dunphy was in his place, becoming the chaser in Coach Tom Gola's box-and-one defense. He hounded Murphy, who missed 16 of 24 shots and matched his career low of 24 points. Also absent from La Salle's lineup was Larry Cannon, who had been averaging 22 points a game. He missed the team bus and was benched by Gola.