For North Carolina it was a problem of vision. Lightweight Virginia, which had never ever won at Chapel Hill, caught the Tar Heels looking ahead, and then two days later Maryland caught them looking back. Presto! The Big Three of the Atlantic Coast Conference dwindled to two.
Concluding that North Carolina's pressing defense was too tough to dent with a frontal attack, Virginia went in through the back door with a spread-out offense, the long pass and the easy layup. The Cavalier spearhead was Barry Parkhill, who threw long—mostly to freshman Wally Walker, who scored 25—and hit short for 23 himself.
Not overlooking a good thing, Maryland's Lefty Driesell ordered up the same attack. It produced 38 points from Jim (Bozo) O'Brien, 24 over the part-time starting senior's average and 13 more than he had ever scored in a college game. Earlier in the week the Terps knocked off LIU 100-73 and Wake Forest 105-76.
Second-ranked North Carolina State remained one of the nation's two unbeaten major teams with a 98-73 victory over Furman. But Furman remained atop the Southern Conference by first beating Appalachian State 103-83 and then Davidson 102-94.
" Alabama has the best team I've seen since I've come into the league," said Tennessee Coach Ray Mears after losing to the Tide 72-56. The easy victory opened a two-game lead in the Southeastern Conference for Alabama, which earlier in the week topped Georgia Tech 89-83 and Florida 82-74, both on the road.
"We've got some guys playing for themselves and not for Florida State," said Coach Hugh Durham, who wasn't happy after beating Samford by only 47-34 and Southern Illinois by 78-73. "The next time we order uniforms, instead of Florida State we may have the names of those players printed on the back. That's who they're playing for: themselves."
Texas Tech dangled victory in front of hungry Texas, then snatched it away 73-64 in overtime, moving to a 4-0 lead in the Southwest Conference. Tech's Ed Wakefield went into the overtime with four points and came out with 14, which makes him either a very slow starter or a very good sandbagger. SMU and Arkansas are just behind Tech with 3-1 records. SMU slammed Baylor 81-69, and Arkansas, led by 34 points from Martin Terry, the SWC's leading scorer, downed TCU 90-75.
1. N.C. STATE (14-0)
2. MARYLAND (14-1)