Princeton and Penn remained deadlocked for the Ivy League lead. The Tigers drubbed Dartmouth 65-45 and then got 26 points from Frank Sowinski to finish off Harvard 59-49. Keven McDonald poured in 28 points as the Quakers riddled the Crimson 81-62, after which they held off the Big Green 73-68. Columbia beat Yale 48-42 but was toppled by Brown 91-83.
Before taking on Virginia, which was win-less in nine Atlantic Coast games and 8-14, Clemson Coach Bill Foster said, "They're going to get somebody. I hope it's not us." It was, Guard Dave Koesters doubled his previous season high by swishing in 28 points as the Cavaliers won 71-65. Clemson, with Wayne (Tree) Rollins accounting for 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks, then nipped North Carolina State 68-66. Kenny Carr of the Wolfpack had 31 points and 16 rebounds, but State had 21 turnovers and the Tigers only nine. Wake Forest had difficulties with two outsiders. The Deacons beat Davidson 70-68 on Frank Johnson's 20-foot jumper in the last second. But the Deacons were then stunned by Virginia Tech 98-97 in overtime despite 37 points and 19 rebounds by Rod Griffin. Ron Bell kept the Gobblers going with 24 points, and Duke Thorpe added 23, four in the final 38 seconds. North Carolina zapped South Florida 100-65.
Two victorious visitors were Providence and North Carolina-Charlotte. Joe Hassett tossed in 24 points as the Friars polished off La Salle 75-62. UNCC, playing at Madison Square Garden for the first time since wowing New York fans while coming in second in last year's NIT, beat Seton Hall 85-75. Cedric (Cornbread) Maxwell spurred the 49ers with 21 points and 24 rebounds, while Lew Massey scored 29 and Chad Kinch 21.
Syracuse rolled past Rhode Island 70-47 and, with Jim Williams popping in 21 points, downed St. John's 79-55.
1. WAKE FOREST (20-4)
2. PROV. (21-3)
3. N. CAROLINA (19-4)
"The merry-go-round has ended." said Marquette's Al McGuire during halftime ceremonies at his last home game before leaving the coaching ranks. Alas, on his final ride, which consisted of three home games last week. McGuire was not once able to grab the brass ring. First it was DePaul, with Ron Norwood contributing 23 points and four steals, that beat the Warriors in double overtime 77-72. Then it was Detroit, which won 64-63 when Dennis Boyd's 20-footer went through the net as the final buzzer sounded. Boyd might not have shot if someone at the scorer's table had not warned Titan Coach Dick Vitale not to call a time-out because he had none left and doing so would have resulted in a technical foul. And then Wichita State showed up for the wingding of a finale in which one player from each team was ejected for fighting, and barrages of toilet paper were rained on the court by fans protesting calls against Marquette. McGuire added to the bedlam by harassing the officials and being socked with his first two technicals of the season. When the merry-go-round stopped. Wichita was a 75-64 winner.
Michigan stayed in the Big Ten lead by walloping Minnesota 89-70. Mike Thompson (32 points, 14 rebounds) outdueled Phil Hubbard (28 points, 14 rebounds) of the Wolverines, but Michigan got 16 points each from Tom Staton, Rickey Green and Steve Grote. In earlier games, Minnesota downed Indiana 65-61 and Michigan State 99-77, and Michigan beat Iowa 91-80 after being upended by the Hoosiers 73-64. Indiana's upset was triggered by freshman Forward Mike Woodson, who had 26 points. After the game, Kent Benson, who scored 24 points, strode into a press conference and said. "I'm here on behalf of the Indiana team and I just want to say we're all very proud and happy to have Bobby Knight as our coach." Purdue drubbed Ohio State 90-61, Joe Barry Carroll blocking four shots, bringing his total to 61 in 22 games.
Also holding on to first place was Tennessee, which clung to its half-game edge over Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference as both won twice. Mississippi led Tennessee 42-40 at halftime, but the Vols broke loose for an 87-75 decision in which Bernard King had 35 points and 18 rebounds. With the score knotted at 81 at Alabama, the Vols got six straight points from Guard Johnny Darden and won 92-89. Kentucky stormed past Florida 104-78 as Guards Truman Claytor and Larry Johnson teamed up for 43 points, then downed LSU 90-76 behind Jack Givens' 21.
Austin Peay built a two-game lead over Murray State in the Ohio Valley. The Governors stopped East Tennessee State 72-59 and Middle Tennessee 67-61, while the Racers beat Tennessee Tech 79-77 in overtime and lost to Western Kentucky 82-81.