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THE WEEK
Herman Weiskopf
February 09, 1976
MIDEAST
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February 09, 1976

The Week

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MIDEAST

The closet thing to a crisis in basketballs version of the Mideast is the question of just how good Indiana is. After watching the Hoosiers win 88-73 at Iowa, Portland Trail Blazer Vice-President Stu Inman said they are "not an extremely gifted team" and that they lack the superstar of "great teams of the past." Five days later, after his team was mauled 114-61 by Indiana, Wisconsin Coach John Powless rated the Hoosiers as "comparable to the greatest teams in history." And Indiana's Scott May had some superstar statistics with 32 points against Iowa and 30 in 25 minutes against Wisconsin. Big Ten runner-up Michigan was upset 76-75 by Illinois, but outlasted Iowa 104-95.

"Winning is overemphasized," Marquette Coach Al McGuire says. "The only time it's really important is in surgery and war." Nonetheless, McGuire was pleased with his Warriors' 55-44 surgical job on Georgia Tech and their 85-59 blitzing of Loyola.

Notre Dame Coach Digger Phelps labeled his team's games against UCLA, DePaul and Maryland during an eight-day span as "the Triple Crown of the season." The Irish, who had disposed of UCLA the week before, wore down DePaul with their depth for an 89-68 win. Then came the " Belmont." Despite 28 points by Adrian Dantley, Notre Dame was beaten in the stretch by Maryland 69-63. John Lucas had 23 points for the Terps, surpassing Tom McMillen as Maryland's alltime scoring leader with 1,820.

1. INDIANA (18-0)
2. MARQUETTE (16-1)

EAST

Silence was golden to North Carolina Guard John Kuester, but noise was precious to Maryland Forward Steve Sheppard. Summing up his feelings about playing on the road without the backing of vociferous Tar Heel rooters, Kuester said, "You hear this great roar out there. Then somebody pops in a jumper for us, and suddenly it's so dead. Just silence. That's the prettiest sound you can hear on the road." Kuester particularly savored the hush at Wake Forest, where Carolina won 88-85 in overtime with Mitch Kupchak scoring 26 points. The Tar Heels subsequently lengthened their ACC lead with a 79-64 home-court victory over Clemson.

Maryland fans, chastised in the campus newspaper for their meager vocal outpourings at home games, whooped and bellowed as the Terps whipped North Carolina State 102-84. Inspiring most of the cheers were Lucas, who tossed in 34 points, and Mo Howard, who had 25. But no one appreciated the din more than Sheppard, who said, "It felt like we were at home, finally."

Virginia Tech (15-3) trounced William & Mary 105-79 and edged West Virginia 81-78, with Russell Davis canning a jump shot in the final five seconds.

Georgetown (14-3) stopped Penn State 71-63 as Derrick Jackson connected for 28 points. Then the Hoyas took on Holy Cross, which had been upset 73-69 by Connecticut. With the score tied at 14, Georgetown spurted to a 40-25 advantage. Jackson, Al Dutch and Merlin Wilson poured in 22 of the Hoyas' 26 points during that outburst and had 66 in all as Georgetown won 95-74.

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