Is there a coach who agrees with a referee's ruling that goes against his team on a critical play? Yes. After a traveling violation was called on one of his players on a layup attempt at the final buzzer in a 78-76 loss to Kansas, Colorado's Sox Walseth spoke up. "I think it was a good call," he said. Rick Suttle led the Jayhawks with 30 points and a dozen rebounds. Sharing first place in the Big Eight with Kansas was Kansas State, a 70-68 winner over Iowa State in a game during which the lead flipflopped 25 times. Applying the finishing touch was Guard Chuckie Williams, who tossed in three late baskets to top off a 28-point performance.
St. Louis has a rich basketball heritage, but financial woes and sagging attendance have spurred rumors that the Billikens may drop the sport. There is also talk of an emergency $200,000 fund-raising campaign to keep them playing, and enthusiasm for that drive could only be increased after St. Louis won at home against Memphis State 78-75 for the ninth straight year. There are no such problems at State, where the Tigers crumpled Mercer 93-75 before their 13th sell-out crowd of the season. That boosted home attendance for '74-'75 to 200,498.
Louisville wrapped up the Missouri Valley title by defeating West Texas State 75-69 and North Texas State 92-73.
In the Southwest Conference Texas Tech moved into a tie for first place with Texas A&M by beating the Aggies 73-63 and dehorning Texas 78-51.
1. LOUISVILLE (22-2)
2. MEMPHIS ST. (20-5)
"Some of the nicest young men I've ever had the pleasure of working with," is how UCLA Coach John Wooden refers to his present squad. There have been fears, though, that those nice young men may not be aggressive enough on the court, and they arose again when California led UCLA 27-20 at halftime. "The most miserable half I've ever had a team play in Pauley Pavilion," was how Wooden described it. But in the second period his Bruins got tough, swished 13 of 16 second-half shots and pulled out a 51-47 victory. UCLA then moved a step closer to the Pacific Eight title by beating Stanford 93-59. With one contest left, Oregon State stayed a game behind UCLA, downing Washington State 44-41 and Washington 86-78.
Coach of the Year Award was the label on a package delivered to Texas-El Paso Coach Don Haskins before a game at Utah. Inside was a scrawny plucked chicken. After the game, which the Miners won 71-65, Haskins said, "If I could find that Ute fan and could buy one at this time of night, I'd present him with a scalp." The next night, however, the Miners were trimmed 65-54 by Brigham Young and were eliminated from the WAC race. Arizona State took the league title, shooting down Wyoming 94-76 and then forcing 25 Colorado State turnovers in a 104-80 rout. For the first time in 24 years Arizona reached the 20-win plateau, clobbering Colorado State 107-97 and Wyoming 92-74. Al Fleming had 61 points in those games. Against the Cowboys the Wildcats set a conference record by sinking 67.2% of their shots.
1. UCLA (22-3)
2. ARIZONA STATE (22-3)