Murray State's Thoroughbreds, picked to show but never to win, handed Western Kentucky its second straight defeat 73-71 with 17 seconds left and broke an 18-game Hilltopper winning streak in the Ohio Valley Conference.
In white pin-striped coat, blood-red shirt and red bell-bottom pants to match, Furman's new head coach, Joe Williams, returned to Jacksonville to play the team he had taken to the NCAA finals last year. His squad was also in bell-bottoms, hoping, perhaps, to blind the Jacksonville players. But the much-taller Dolphins were hardly dazzled and Williams' former assistant, Tom Wasdin, had to scrape bottom to hold the score down to 94-60. Little Mercer University, however, cast as another of JU's joke victims, rallied to within six points with three minutes to play before dying 93-76.
With Jimmy England hitting 12 of 17 from the field and Don Johnson 9 of 17, Tennessee picked off Alabama at Tuscaloosa 79-62. Kentucky edged LSU at Baton Rouge 82-79, advancing its record to 11-3. LSU cut a 13-point Kentucky lead to one point with 31 seconds to play—and had the ball—but Al Sanders, otherwise a hero with 24 points, had a shot blocked with seconds to go. Kentucky recovered and sank two foul shots for the winning margin.
Virginia, entering the exam break with an 11-2 record, had the best overall record in the powerful Atlantic Coast Conference.
1. TENN (12-2)
2. JACKSONVILLE (12-2)