There was no catching Davidson in the Southern Conference. The Wildcats finished 9-0 in the league race by stopping Richmond 114-95 and Furman 103-67.
Georgia Tech, exhibiting a perked-up offense, downed Air Force 88-67, Tulane 90-79 and Georgia 73-66. Virginia Tech beat Virginia 68-64, Florida State brought its record to 15-7 by stopping Dayton 79-71 and West Virginia, which had lost seven of its last eight games, got 56 points from Skip Kintz as it beat Pitt 89-69 and Duke 90-88.
1. PURDUE (14-4)
2. OHIO STATE (14-4)
3. LOUISVILLE (16-3)
Louisville, capitalizing on Jerry King's foul-shooting accuracy and on a seldom-used defense, tied Tulsa for the lead in the Missouri Valley Conference. It was King who sank two free throws in the final seven seconds of overtime to clinch an 83-81 win over the Hurricanes, and who put in another pair in the last nine seconds to beat Wichita State 65-62. As for the defense—a half-court zone press they had not even practiced for a month—the Cardinals put it to use when they trailed the Shockers by 12 points with 11 minutes to go. Tulsa was upset for a second time, 76-63 by the Cincinnati Bearcats, who became aroused after Coach Tay Baker had been hanged in effigy. That occurred after Cincinnati's 75-73 loss to Wichita State on Ron Mendells' 30-footer at the buzzer. Drake beat Bradley 73-72 and North Texas State 91-67 to advance to within 1� games of the leaders.
In the Big Ten, first-place Purdue lost 88-85 as Ohio State made good on 26 of 31 foul shots. Speaking later of Purdue's Rick Mount, who scored 35 points in that game—and 35 more as the Boilermakers downed Wisconsin. 87-69—State Coach Fred Taylor said: "He's a pure shooter—the best outside shooter I think I've ever seen." Ohio State added a 58-41 win over Minnesota to pull within a game of Purdue. Northwestern, in its first game under new Coach Brad Snyder, got a 91-88 win over Indiana. Michigan State's John Benington announced that he had nominated Harvey Schmidt of Illinois as Coach of the Year, then beat him 75-70. Illinois had its hopes further dashed when Michigan's Rudy Tomjanovich scored 37 points as the Wolverines won 92-87.
Western Kentucky was jostled out of the lead in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Hill-toppers, who lost 85-77 to Eastern Kentucky, relinquished first place to Murray State, which beat Tennessee Tech 62-59 and Eastern Kentucky 80-78.
Colorado retained its half-game lead in the Big Eight despite a 70-68 loss to Kansas State. The Buffaloes earned a split for the week by beating Oklahoma 92-69, while runner-up Kansas got by Oklahoma State 45-41 before losing to Missouri for the second time by one point, 56-55. Sophomore Cliff Meely set a Colorado record with 16 field goals against Oklahoma, thanks to Assistant Coach Chuck Gardner. It was Gardner who saw to it that Meely got back into the game in the waning minutes so that he would have a chance to break Gardner's own record of 15.
Miami of Ohio, losing 60-59 to second-place Ohio University, missed three shots in the last 24 seconds and with them a chance to clinch the Mid-American title. Xavier also beat the Redskins 59-51 and stopped Detroit 104-67. The Titans played that game without Spencer Haywood, who was suspended for two games after throwing a haymaker at a referee in a wild game at Toledo. Detroit beat Toledo 92-90, in spite of 17 rebounds and 39 points by Steve Mix. In his next game, a 66-58 win over Kent State, Mix had 30 points, the fifth straight time he had scored that much or more.
Marquette beat DePaul 66-55, and Creighton had three wins—90-88 over Seattle, 94-80 over Oklahoma City and 93-66 over Loyola.