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1. N.C. STATE (4-0)
After losing to Louisville 91-87, Houston Coach Guy Lewis labeled the Cardinals the best team ever to appear at Hofheinz Pavilion. Then, following a 96-87 loss to North Carolina, he said, "I think North Carolina is better than Louisville. North Carolina does everything well—run, play defense, pass. And they shoot pretty well, too." To be precise, the Tarheels shot 61.2%, with Mitch Kupchak sinking 13 of 19 and scoring 31 points. In the opener against the Cardinals, the Cougars twice led by eight points and barely missed tying the score at 89 when a shot bounced over the rim with three seconds left. Wesley Cox led Louisville with 21 points and 16 rebounds, but Houston kept things close by blocking an astonishing total of 15 shots.
Oklahoma handled South Carolina with remarkable ease, shooting 59%, outrebounding the Gamecocks 33-24 and running up a 17-point lead en route to a 90-84 upset. Alvan Adams popped in 20 points for the Sooners, and when he sat down with four fouls, Rick McNeil stepped in for him and hit four quick baskets.
At home against Indiana, Kansas took the shooting skirmish 55% to 42% and the battle of the boards 41 to 37, but the Hoosiers won the war 74-70 in overtime. Indiana did it with a sturdy man-to-man defense that provoked 25 turnovers (the visitors committed only nine) and thwarted a new Jayhawk power offense designed to score from inside. Hoosier Quinn Buckner was 0 for 8 from the field, but Forward Scott May made up for his inaccuracies. He put in the Hoosiers' first nine points in overtime and finished with 29. Sandwiched around that loss were two Kansas wins, 85-50 over Augustana (S. Dak.) and 89-54 over Iowa. Earlier the Hawkeyes, surprised Drake 86-81, with new Coach Lute Olson using only two leftovers from last season's 8-16 squad.
Another team jolted by an upset was Texas, mauled by little Centenary 96-71. Creighton's 7'1" Mike Heck, 20, died in his sleep, apparently from a cardiac disorder. Wearing armbands, bearing Heck's number, the Bluejays lost the final of their Creighton Cage Classic to Texas-El Paso 69-63. Alabama labored past Oklahoma State 74-67.
Ricky (Imperial) Gallon displayed a magnum of talent as Louisville, down 36-33 at halftime, overcame Dayton 76-65. Coming off the bench to play 19 minutes, the 6'10", 225-pound freshman center had 12 points and 11 rebounds. Junior Bridgeman added 16 points and Allen Murphy 15.
The highlight—or the low point?—of Indiana's 98-74 conquest of Kentucky was not the 26 points and 12 rebounds by Kent Benson or 25 points by Scott May. What set off the fans in Bloomington were the antics of Hoosier Coach Bobby Knight, who became embroiled with Wildcat Coach Joe Hall and tapped him on the head as they argued.