Virginia upped its unbeaten streak to 12 games, defeating George Washington 97-76. But then Virginia learned that yes, there is a North Carolina. The Cavaliers gave the Tar Heels a tussle, though, and even led 60-58 with 10:07 remaining. That, however, was the last of the 16 times the lead changed hands. The Tar Heels put on a 19-4 scoring burst and won 85-79. That win, coupled with an earlier one—81-61 over Clemson—put the Carolinians in first place in the Atlantic Coast race. Maryland beat Wake Forest 49-46 while North Carolina State, which got 30 points from Tom Burleson, downed Duke 85-58.
Deploying his players much as hockey teams do, Mercer Coach Dwane Morrison alternated five-man units in the second half against favored Florida State. With seven minutes to play, Mercer trailed only 76-70, then faded away 96-78.
"They took it away from us," grumped Kentucky Coach Adolph Rupp following a 72-70 loss in Florida's gym—Alligator Alley. "I think we beat the hell out of them," said Gator Guard Jerry Hoover, whose on-target shot in the final five seconds won the game. Earlier in the Southeastern Conference the Wildcats beat Mississippi State 104-76, and the Gators lost to Vanderbilt 104-87. LSU officials refused to empty their gym despite a bomb threat, then watched Alabama blow their Tigers apart 101-80, shooting 61%. Tennessee moved to the top of the SEC by squirming past Mississippi 73-70 and Georgia 59-57.
With Tom Riker hurt, Danny Traylor put in 37 points and grabbed 20 rebounds as South Carolina gunned down Manhattan 116-78. Southwestern Louisiana, which got 230 of its 334 points from Dwight Lamar and Roy Ebron, put down Northwestern Louisiana 101-88, Eastern New Mexico 99-79 and West Texas State 134-94. Lamar had 42 points in the first game and, despite the flu and a 101� fever, added 31 and then 45. Ebron's figures were 37, 35 and 40, and a total of 57 rebounds.
1. N. CAROLINA (11-1)
2. S. CAROLINA (8-2)