There were empty seats in Carmichael Auditorium when sixth-ranked North Carolina, fresh from wins over Maryland and Florida State and looking ahead to Virginia, entertained Miami of Ohio. Tar Heel followers were staying home to listen to the North Carolina State-Duke game. Just as well. The Redskins, whose teams have been stinging unsuspecting Big Ten neighbors for years, zinged Carolina 102-92, the most points ever scored on the team in the arena. Chastened North Carolina beat Virginia 76-68 and continued to lead the nation in team shooting. North Carolina State, with spectacular David Thompson getting 31 points, topped Duke 74-50 to remain undefeated.
"I'm not here to play Richard Fuqua," Dwight Lamar insisted when Southwestern Louisiana arrived in Tulsa for a nationally televised shoot-out with Oral Roberts. But it seemed clear from the way the ball kept flying out of people's hands that outshooting somebody was the order of the day. The nation's two highest-scoring teams put it up 196 times, with Oral Roberts missing more shots (71) than most teams take in a game and Southwestern winning 104-89. Lamar, recovered from the flu, scored 34 points while Fuqua made but five of 23 shots.
Tennessee won the game of the year in the SEC, shuddering past Alabama 72-71 in Knoxville when Vol Center Len Kosmalski sank two free throws with less than a minute left. Seconds later, Wendell Hudson missed two for Alabama, then with three seconds left Charles Cleveland had his driving shot blocked by Kosmalski. "It was a lucky one," said Kosmalski. "He took my arm off," said Cleveland. The play gave Tennessee a two-game edge over Alabama and Kentucky in the loss column.
Virginia Tech waited most of the year to get into the national rankings, then promptly fell out as Richmond and Toledo cooked the Gobblers 94-93 and 89-74.
Florida State, with Benny Clyde playing for the first time in three weeks following disciplinary suspension, beat South Alabama 86-69. Clyde did not score, but passed a lot, which is something he had not been doing, and Reggie Royals got 30 points.
SMU lost the fourth of its last five games to Arkansas 103-96 as Martin Terry scored 47 points—leaving the Southwest race to Texas Tech and the Razorbacks. Texas A&M scored on a goaltending call with seven seconds to go to beat Texas Tech 76-75.
1. N.C. STATE (23-0)
2. N. CAROLINA (21-5)
Minnesota, the Big Ten's best rebounding team, was jumped by the league's second worst, Illinois, but still won 82-73 to move alone into first place for the first time this season. Gopher Center Jim Brewer scored on nine of 11 field-goal attempts and snatched 13 rebounds to offset the efforts of Illinois' Nick Weatherspoon, the conference's most explosive player and leading scorer. Minnesota also unraveled Michigan's talented but uncoordinated attack 98-80. Purdue, which had teetered on top of the standings for two surprising days, was routed at Ohio State 102-79. Indiana won twice, 57-55 over Wisconsin and 75-65 over Michigan State. In the Wisconsin game Hoosier Coach Bobby Knight turned cheerleader when the home crowd sat in virtual silence. Outraged, he said, "I think it is an absolute shame that 15,000 people can sit there on their dead rear ends and a coach has to get up to get somebody to cheer."