Memphis State and Florida State survived a shaky week and wobbled into a tie for first place in the Metro 7, each having a 6-1 record in league play. Memphis State got there by beating Tulane 101-91 and pulling out a remarkable 86-85 overtime victory over St. Louis. The Tigers trailed St. Louis by six points as Billiken Guard Mark Alcorn went to the free-throw line with 38 seconds remaining. Alcorn missed, and Memphis State scored three baskets off its full-court press in the ensuing 28 seconds. Freshman Guard Kevin Fromm hit the tying basket with 10 seconds left in regulation play and nailed a 25-foot jumper from the corner with two seconds remaining in overtime for the victory.
St. Louis also lost to Florida State 72-68, after the Seminoles had suffered a stunning non-league defeat at home against South Alabama. FSU stalled away most of the final three minutes of that game with the score tied 56-56. hoping to get a good last shot. Harry Davis got it. a four-footer with seven seconds to play, but it didn't go in. and the Jaguars' Lonnie Leggett hit a running 35-footer at the buzzer. South Alabama hit 72% of its shots in the second half and outrebounded the taller Seminoles 31-15.
Cincinnati, expected to be a power in the Metro Conference, continued to fade. By losing 83-76 to Louisville, the Bearcats brought their conference record to 4-6. "There's not much we can do but play the games." shrugged Cincinnati Coach Gale Catlett. Louisville also defeated Marshall 85-69 in a game that was held up by a 10-minute brawl in the first half. Call them the Louisville Sluggers.
Kansas hung on to its lead in the Big Eight by clobbering Oklahoma State 83-65 and slipping past Oklahoma 69-68. Nebraska defeated Colorado 86-75 and dumped Iowa State 62-56 to stay a game behind the Jayhawks. Freshman Andre Smith, who ordinarily plays for the Cornhuskers only when Carl McPipe is in foul trouble, stepped into a starting role when McPipe was suspended for a game and led Nebraska with 21 points against the Buffalos. And he came off the bench for 16 against the Cyclones. Iowa State, which went into the week tied with Kansas for the conference lead, also lost to Kansas State. 74-63. In that game K-State's splendid guard. Mike Evans, became the leading career scorer in Big Eight history, with 1.951 points. Wildcat Coach Jack Hartman, who takes a rather dim view of individual records, said. "I told Mike before the game to make his six points [the number needed for the record] and get it over with so we could go on with the ball game."
DePaul needed three overtimes to beat Creighton 85-82, even though 6'11" Center Dave Corzine scored 31 points.
The previous four times the University of South Dakota Coyotes met South Dakota State, the outcome had been decided by a shot in the final three seconds. Each school had won two of the games, with the Coyotes holding a one-point bragging advantage in cumulative scores. This time the Jackrabbits beat the Coyotes 76-75. Steve Brown ended the latest cliff-hanger by scoring six of his team's last eight points.
1. ARKANSAS (21-1)
2. KANSAS (18-3)
3. LOUISVILLE (14-3)
"I don't believe we won. we played so badly." said New Mexico Guard Michael Cooper, after the Lobos won 94-91 at Wyoming. The Cowboys probably couldn't believe it. either. New Mexico led by 18 points with 8:22 to play, but began taking imprudent shots and squandered most of that margin. The Lobos did a better job of maintaining their composure against Colorado State and won 91-82. The difference proved to be the New Mexico bench, which outscored State's reserves 31-2.