"Thank God he's righthanded," said North Carolina Coach Dean Smith after Al Wood sank a 24-foot jumper with three seconds left for a 54-53 Tar Heel victory at Maryland. Wood was playing with nine stitches in his left hand after having fallen through a glass window two days earlier. Carolina, which is atop the ACC with a 5-1 record, had to play without two starters: Mike O'Koren, who had a severe ankle sprain, and Dave Colescott, who was recovering from a fracture of the eye socket. O'Koren was hurt during Carolina's 70-69 win at North Carolina State, where the Tar Heels led 40-19 at halftime. State surged back as Hawkeye Whitney scored 17 of his 19 points and Ken Matthews 12 of his 14 during the second half. Matthews put the Wolfpack in front 69-68 with 33 seconds left. But after State rebounded a missed Tar Heel shot. Dudley Bradley of Carolina stole the ball from Clyde Austin and stuffed a shot in the final three seconds to pull out the decision.
Duke and Virginia, both 3-1, shared second place. The Blue Devils beat Wake Forest 81-69 behind Kenny Dennard's 21 points and got 31 from Mike Gminski to polish off North Carolina State 75-69. Jeff Lamp pumped in 47 points as Virginia triumphed 61-54 at Clemson and jarred non-conference opponent Virginia Tech 93-78.
Temple held off Bucknell 70-69, and Georgetown won twice. After beating Fordham 75-65, the Hoyas played at Penn, where they pulled out a 78-76 victory behind Tom Scates. A 6'11", 245-pounder, Scates, who was averaging 1.6 points and 3.8 rebounds, scored 11 points, pulled down eight missed shots and blocked nine field-goal attempts.
Syracuse set a Division I scoring high for the season by smashing Siena 144-92 for its 39th straight home-court victory. After that, the Orangemen were 103-92 victors at Canisius despite 32 points by Ron Peaks. Canisius won its other two games—90-74 over St. Francis (Pa.) and 90-72 over Scranton—as Peaks tossed in 53 points.
Jacksonville boosted its Sun Belt Conference record to 5-1 by defeating North Carolina-Charlotte 61-57 in overtime and New Orleans 53-52. The Dolphins' victory over UNCC was clinched by Mike Hackett, who sank four free throws in the extra period.
Drexel, which had begun the season 10-0, lost 67-66 at Bucknell. Al Leslie of the Bisons finished off the Dragons by scoring 34 points, the last two by sinking a pair of free throws with six seconds remaining.
Sly Williams of Rhode Island, angered by a scuffle with a St. John's player, turned on the juice to give the Rams a 71-70 road victory. When not agitating the Redmen's bench and fans, Williams flicked in 33 points. During an earlier 86-42 rout of Providence, Williams scored 28 points.
Army ran its record to 10-3 by whipping Manhattan in a rugged contest during which there were 68 fouls. The Cadets shot 78%, converted 48 of 59 free throws and got 35 points from Bob Brown.
Furman, which entered the week 4-0 in the Southern Conference and 12-1 overall, dropped a 91-85 decision to non-league opponent Stetson and lost conference games to Western Carolina, 67-61, and The Citadel, 78-76. In a Southern matchup, VMI's 36-game home-court victory streak was ended 73-58 by Appalachian State, which made all of its shots—13 field goals and 11 free throws—in the first 17:49 of the second half.