I have never been prouder of the fact that I was baptized in the First Baptist Church in Tulsa," said Shelby Metcalf, the coach at Texas A&M. Metcalf was not really as jubilant about religion as he was over the Baylor Baptists' submersing of Texas Tech 60-55. The Baylor victory combined with A&M's 100-77 defeat of SMU vaulted Metcalf's Aggies into sole possession of first place in the Southwest Conference. Four days later A&M wrapped up the league title by stopping Texas 74-63.
The Big Eight race was settled much the same way. Kansas snapped a tie for the lead with Kansas State early in the week and held on to win the championship. The Jayhawks took command when they eked out a 79-77 double-overtime win at Nebraska, while State was jolted by Missouri 83-75. Kansas, which trailed by 19 points late in the first half and by five with 48 seconds left, tied the game in regulation time on three points by Rick Suttle and a basket by Norm Cook after Suttle purposely missed a free throw. Danny Knight flicked in 10 overtime points for Kansas, which later beat Oklahoma 74-63.
Louisville beat Memphis State 84-79 and, despite the loss of Forward Wesley Cox with a pulled hamstring, zapped Dayton 83-67.
1. LOUISVILLE (24-2)
2. MEMPHIS ST. (20-6)
Early this season, Auburn Coach Bob Davis made a promise to his friend Joe Hall, the Kentucky coach. He told Hall that if the Wildcats' chances for the SEC title hinged on Auburn's finale against Alabama, he would "guarantee" a victory over the Tide. Davis is a man of his word. Trailing 69-63 with 3:59 left, Auburn outscored Alabama 13-1 for a 76-70 upset. Kentucky, which got 30 points from Kevin Grevey and 26 from Mike Phillips, drubbed Mississippi State 118-80. Davis' "guarantee" and Kentucky's win moved the Wildcats into a tie for first place with the Tide. Because Kentucky swept two games from Alabama during the season, the Wildcats will represent the SEC in the NCAA Mideast playoff against Marquette. The Tide also will appear in the tournament, but must go west to face Arizona State.
In a shootout for the SEC scoring title, Tennessee's Bernard King pumped in 33 points to give him a 26.6 league average, and Georgia's Jacky Dorsey had 26 to end up with a 25.8 mark. The Vols won 95-74.
Big Ten champ Indiana became the 13th team ever to go to the NCAAs with a perfect record, and its 29 wins are the most ever going into the tournament. The Hoosiers picked up No. 29 by crunching Michigan State 94-79.
Middle Tennessee gained an NCAA spot by defeating Austin Peay 89-75 for the Ohio Valley Conference title.