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Marquette beat Bowling Green and Ford-ham for its second 11-game winning streak of the season. Coach Al McGuire's son Allie dropped in long jumpers and Forward Larry McNeill two braces of free throws to stave off the fast-closing Rams.
Missouri's 6'7", 220-pound John Brown says he has been distracted of late by pro scouts and agents, but his concentration was perfect against Kansas State. He connected on his first nine shots from the floor against the Big Eight leaders to get the Tigers started toward an 80-66 victory. When Oklahoma opened up a 14-point lead on State four nights later, it looked as though the conference race was alive again. But 10 free throws in the last four minutes and Center Steve Mitchell's 23 points saved the Wildcats 82-78. Colorado's 70-66 loss to Oklahoma State, whose coach, Sam Aubrey, resigned earlier in the week, was a blow to the Buffs' slender title hopes.
Memphis State's 54-53 win over New Mexico State was triply memorable. It also was Coach Gene Bartow's 200th and it clinched the school's first outright Missouri Valley championship. In a game involving a tournament bid for at least the winner, Louisville turned back Cincinnati 91-81 to give Coach Denny Crum his second consecutive 20-win season.
Back-to-back losses to powerful St. Joseph's (76-65) and Notre Dame (75-71) dealt severe blows to St. John's hopes of escaping its niche in the NIT. As usual, Bill Schaeffer was a tornado, scoring 56 points for the Redmen, but Olympian Mike Bantom and the Irish's John Shumate spelled the difference in the respective games. Bantom scored 23 points—many on near dunks—and grabbed 21 rebounds. Shumate had 31 points for Notre Dame, which also beat West Virginia 92-73.
If Penn wins the Ivy League title, it should send part of the trophy to Brown. The Bruins enjoyed the finest basketball weekend in their history, first beating Penn itself 53-51—when Guard Eddie Morris dropped in a 20-footer with two seconds left—then knocking off co-leader Princeton 68-62, Brown's first win over the Tigers since 1960. Yale helped Penn, too, upsetting Princeton 63-61 before losing to the Quakers 78-49.
Providence breezed past Villanova, college-division power Assumption and Seton Hall as Marvin Barnes collected 72 points and 74 rebounds. In the process Guard Ernie DiGregorio became the school's second-highest scorer behind Jimmy Walker.
American University's Kermit Washington outrebounded the entire La Salle team 31 to 28 in an 88-79 victory to assure (unless American gets into a postseason tournament) a career average of 20 a game. Next, needing 39 points to average 20 points in his career, he rammed in his most ever, 40, in a 90-68 rout of Georgetown. Only others in the 20-20 club? Bill Russell, Elgin Baylor, Paul Silas, Artis Gilmore, Julius Erving and Walter Dukes.