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Fort Richardson, eight miles outside Anchorage, was the improbable locale of the most notable of the seven first-rate tournaments of the season's first week. The Sea Wolf Classic, sponsored by the University of Alaska-Anchorage, attracted some of the nation's best teams because, though the games figure in teams' records, like all games played outside the Lower 48, they do not count against the NCAA maximum of 27 regular-season contests.
In the opening round of the first major-college tournament held in Alaska, Lamar beat the host Sea Wolves 88-66, Louisville thrashed Penn State 89-58, North Carolina State defeated Texas A&M 81-65, and Pepperdine shocked Indiana 59-58. Pepperdine won when junior-college transfer Ricardo Brown held the ball for 20 seconds before flicking in the last of his 17 points on a 20-foot jumper seven seconds before the end. In a losers' bracket game, the Hoosiers were again upset, falling to Texas A&M 54-49.
Advancing to the finals were North Carolina State and Louisville. The Wolfpack, with Clyde Austin getting 27 points, trimmed Pepperdine 91-62. Darrell Griffith, who had 20 points against Penn State, added 15 as Louisville swamped Lamar 90-68.
In the finals N.C. State beat the Cardinals 72-66. Austin, who finished with a three-game total of 57 points, was named the tournament MVP, but State coach Norm Sloan thought the key to his team's victory was depth. "We used eight, nine, 10 players regularly," he said. "Each game we had a guy come off the bench and play well."
After a 79-59 tune-up victory over Boise State, UCLA was given a workout by De-Paul. The Blue Demons broke to an 11-point lead, but by halftime the Bruins were in front 41-39 as David Greenwood slammed in two dunks just before the intermission. UCLA went on to win 108-85, Greenwood finishing with 28 points. Roy Hamilton had 18 and Kiki Vandeweghe came off the bench to add 16. DePaul's 6'7", 225-pound freshman forward, Mark Aguirre, was impressive even in defeat, popping in 29 points.
Coach Tex Winter's debut at Long Beach State was a rousing one. Although his Forty-Niners shot only 40% and did not get a field goal during the final six minutes, they came through with the week's biggest shocker as they dumped sixth-ranked Texas 76-71. The Forty-Niners' only points in those last six minutes came on seven foul shots by Rickey Williams, who had 26 points. Vital, too, were Michael Wiley's 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Sixty assists, 56% shooting and three freshmen propelled Brigham Young to a pair of triumphs, 93-69 over Hawaii and 111-82 over Portland State. One returnee who excelled for the Cougars was Guard Danny Ainge, who had 34 points. But plenty of help was provided by a trio of freshmen, Fred Roberts, Devin Durrant and Steve Trumbo, who combined for 70 points.
Nevada-Las Vegas and Arizona State were victors by one and two points, respectively. The Rebels held off Stetson 84-83, and the Sun Devils edged Arizona 84-82. San Francisco breezed past California- Santa Barbara 91-68. Making it easy for the Dons was Bill Cartwright, who grabbed 14 rebounds and poured in 36 points.