Jacksonville closed out a 21-5 season by easing past Georgia Southern 88-75, and not even swollen glands and a sore throat could keep the Dolphins' Butch Taylor from scoring 30. "My throat didn't start bothering me until the second half," said Taylor, "when the game got uninteresting."
For Texas Tech, which wrapped up the Southwest Conference championship, its 64-63 victory over Arkansas was interesting right to the last moment. With 2:23 to play, Tech had an eight-point lead. With eight seconds left, the lead was but one and Arkansas had the ball. Up went a shot. It missed and the rebound fell into the hands of Tech's Bryan Mauk, at 5'9" the shortest man on the court. "I don't know how much more of this I can stand," said Tech Coach Gerald Myers.
Freshman Fly Williams scored eight points in the final eight minutes to lead Austin Peay, last year's cellar dweller, to the Ohio Valley Conference title with a 75-73 victory over Murray State. Preseason Southern Conference favorite Furman ripped Davidson, the regular-season champion, 99-81 to win the tournament championship and a berth opposite Syracuse in the NCAA Eastern Regional playoffs.
1. N.C. STATE (25-0)
2. N. CAROLINA (22-6)
Early in January, after losses to Tennessee and Maryland, people were beginning to wonder if Syracuse was as good as it thought it was. "We are," Coach Roy Danforth said then. "I was worried that three tournaments on the road might hurt our record, but not anymore. I don't see any reason why this team shouldn't win at least 18 games." "Twenty," said Mike Lee, a 6'3" senior forward and big man on offense. Both were wrong. Early in the week the Orangemen downed Rutgers 97-84, and Saturday night played well enough in the first half to overshadow a cool second half and edge George Washington 74-72. That pushed 14th-ranked Syracuse's record to 22-4.
Against George Washington, Syracuse took a 43-34 lead into halftime but could shoot no better than 35% in the second half. George Washington did not do much better. The only points scored by either team in the last 3:44 came on a 25-foot jump shot by Lee, which decided the game and gave him 22 for the night.
Struggling St. Joseph's went into a tenacious zone, muffled Temple without a point for seven minutes and gained a 70-60 victory in the Middle Atlantic Conference playoff championship and a berth in the NCAA regional. In the opening round St. Joseph's ripped Gettysburg 92-58, but Guard Mike Moody aggravated a foot injury and may miss tournament play.
La Salle Reserve Steve Baruffi was called on to stop Villanova's Tom Inglesby and did such a good job La Salle romped 101-79. At one stretch Inglesby went 1 for 11. The Villanova ace wound up with 25 points but shot only 8 for 20 from the field. La Salle also got a big game from junior Joe DiCocco, who had 26 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists. "We just couldn't do anything wrong," said DiCocco.
Penn took the Ivy League title by trouncing stumbling Harvard 86-75 and bumbling Dartmouth 74-46. Providence and St. John's, both NCAA at-large selectees, played a scorcher in Queens, N.Y., the visitors finally winning 93-90 as Ernie DiGregorio scored 41 points. Massachusetts, the Yankee Conference winner, humiliated Fordham 72-59.