It's the hunter and the hunted," said North Carolina Coach Dean Smith after his Tar Heels gunned down Wake Forest 99-74. "They were the hunters in the Big Four Tournament [where the Deacons jolted the Heels]. This time we were." Leading the safari were Phil Ford with 30 points, Walter Davis with 23 and Mitch Kupchak, who added 18 and grabbed 19 rebounds. Winning at Duke was harder for Carolina. The Tar Heels trailed by eight with 8:18 to go before surging back for an 89-87 victory. Davis scored 11 of their final 24 points and finished with 21. Ford had 22, and Kupchak added 20 to go with 13 rebounds. That win put North Carolina (4-0) atop the ACC.
Maryland defeated conference foe North Carolina State and Navy by identical 87-69 scores. Against State, Coach Lefty Driesell broke up his three-guard offense for the first time this season, benching Mo Howard so he could use a taller player for inside strength. But six minutes into the game, with the Terps leading only 12-10, Howard came in and ignited the offense with 25 points.
There is no such thing as a sure winner in the ACC—except when Clemson and Duke square off. Then the victor has to be a coach named Bill Foster. That's because the Tigers are coached by a Bill Foster, and so are the Blue Devils. Last week Clemson's Foster savored a 102-96 overtime triumph. His Tigers then stunned Wake Forest 86-81.
Princeton Coach Pete Carril says his bunch of Tigers lack "rejecters and quickness," but are "excessively smart," which to Carril's way of thinking means they understand that they must play stingy defense to win. That's exactly what Princeton (10-3) did, beating St. Joseph's 56-46.
Last-ditch efforts led to Providence's downfalls at Seton Hall (57-55) and Rhode Island (75-73). Mike Buescher scored a decisive basket for the Pirates an instant before the buzzer, and Lem Johnson of the Rams blocked a final Friar shot.
Glen Williams had 23 points as St. John's (13-1) beat Hawaii 74-71 in overtime, then scored 20 as the Redmen held off Villanova 57-53.
1. RUTGERS (13-0)
2. MARYLAND (13-1)
SEC stands for Southeastern Conference, but last week it might as well have stood for Surprises, Excitement and Chaos. First came the chaos. Kentucky Coach Joe Hall started it by alleging that during the previous week's loss at Tennessee, Ernie Grunfeld of the Vols sank four free throws after sneaking to the foul line in place of teammates who had been fouled. Hall called it a "premeditated conspiracy" and said other SEC coaches planned to scan films of their games at Tennessee. Grunfeld denied the charge, and his coach, Ray Mears, labeled Hall's remark "pretty strong language." Mears also said it was "not unusual for a taller man to step in on a jump ball or for a better foul shooter to go to the line in place of a teammate." Retorted Hall, "Is it usual to cheat?"