So the world goes. Cuba abolishes Christmas but nobody, absolutely nobody, abolishes UCLA, winner of its 49th game even with Coach John Wooden hospitalized. The victim this time: California at Santa Barbara 98-67.
Santa Clara came to Salt Lake City, and Santa Clara went away again loaded with presents after beating Providence 97-92 in the final of the Utah Classic chiefly on Mike Stewart's 33 points. The Trojan Classic was won by Southern Cal, whose Vic (Small Package) Kelly, 5'6", scored 20 points to put down Purdue 79-71.
Maybe it was because they were playing past their curfew time, but Oral Roberts' Titans fell fast asleep, snored away a 13-point lead and lost to Nevada of Las Vegas 86-80, or maybe it was just Jimmie Baker, who scored 40 points for Vegas.
New Mexico went down to Las Cruces this time to meet New Mexico State, but the outcome was the same, a victory, if only by a point, 68-67. The Lobos won with six points in the last 41 seconds, the final two on Darryl Minniefield's layup. Later, against Abilene Christian, they took 98 shots, hit on 45 and won 103-74.
Brigham Young got 60 points from Kresimir Cosic as it drubbed Oklahoma State 96-69 and fought off Utah State 88-80.
1. UCLA (4-0)
2. LONG BEACH STATE (5-0)
Many Kentuckians felt things would never be the same without Adolph Rupp. Last week, though, lamentations were turned to cheers—with some boos and a ripe grapefruit thrown at the officials—when Rupp's successor, Joe Hall, carried on in the baronial traditions. He shouted, slammed a clipboard to the floor and then ripped off his jacket and stomped on it, hoping to shake up the refs and his Wildcats. He did. Hall got two technical fouls and a rousing comeback from his players, who cut a 26-point deficit against North Carolina down to six points before the Tar Heels put on a spurt to squelch the Wildcats 78-70. Stirred up, Hall's boys went on to win their own invitational tournament, beating Nebraska 85-60 and, with Jim Andrews scoring 33 points, whipping Oregon 95-68.
Tennessee, winner of all six previous Volunteer Classics, this time lost to Missouri 67-57 as the tournament's MVP, John Brown, had 23 points. The Tigers beat the Vols at their own wait-before-you-shoot game, sinking 64% of their shots.