Before its slow-paced victory against San Francisco, A&M had won a pell-mell first-round game 101-99 from previously unbeaten Nevada-Las Vegas by outrunnin' the Runnin' Rebels. In winning the first of their two big upsets, the Aggies got a total of 44 points and 42 rebounds from sophomores Rynn Wright and Vern Smith.
Having scored only 14 points and grabbed just 17 rebounds in UCLA's first four games. Center Gig Sims decided, "If I'm going to make the pros, I have to be more aggressive." Muscling in against San Diego State, Sims nearly doubled his totals as he flipped in 14 points, snared 15 rebounds and blocked five shots. Two players that the pros are definitely interested in were also big guns in the Bruins' 97-73 victory, UCLA's Roy Hamilton scoring 23 points and David Greenwood contributing 21.
The Utah Classic was won by the host Utes, as tournament MVP Tom Chambers had a total of 44 points and 28 rebounds in two games. After knocking off Hofstra 81-72 in the opening round, Utah was a 64-57 winner over Idaho State, which had made it to the finals by jolting Georgia 66-56.
The University of Portland ran its record to 8-0 with an 82-66 victory over Cal State-Irvine, and Montana State won its seventh game in as many outings by defeating Puget Sound 83-80.
1. UCLA (4-1)
2. LONG BEACH STATE (6-0)
3. UNLV (5-1)
The way Ohio State Coach Eldon Miller figured it, "Probably the best thing that happened was that we got tired and took a little longer to shoot." Hasty first-half shots had the Buckeyes trailing Louisville 36-31 at half-time. From there on, tiring Ohio State hit 67% as it shocked the Cardinals 85-69. Darrell Griffith had 28 points for Louisville, but State had several stars: Herb Williams (22 points), Mike Cline (12 points, four assists, five steals) and Todd Penn (nine points, six assists, three steals).
A tumultuous week at Indiana began with the dismissal Monday by Coach Bobby Knight of three players from the team and the placing of five others on probation for, said one of the dismissed players, smoking pot. In spite of the furor and a reduced roster, the Hoosiers jarred Kentucky 68-67 in overtime on Saturday. Mike Woodson, one of those on probation, tossed in 27 points, sank a foul shot to send the game into an extra period and made two more free throws with five seconds left in O.T. to put Indiana in front 68-65. The Wildcats, who had averaged 99 points while winning their first three games, were thwarted by the relentless defense of the Hoosiers, who entered the game ranked fifth in the nation, having given up an average of 56.5 points.
A third Big Ten team to pull off an upset was Iowa, which clogged the middle against Iowa State and won 67-66.
Michigan State started fast and Michigan came on strong at the finish as both clobbered Western Michigan. The Spartans, who led 56-18 at halftime, breezed to a 109-69 victory in which Earvin Johnson had 19 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds, and Jay Vincent chipped in with 27 points. Western trailed Michigan 48-41 at the half but then the Wolverines poured it on and came out ahead 104-73 as Mike McGee had 36 points.