Joining Maryland and Clemson in pulling off surprises was Wake Forest, which jolted Rhode Island 69-67 in overtime when Frank Johnson stole a pass and connected on a 30-foot jumper at the buzzer. For the Rams, who had been in front 40-28 at halftime, it was their third setback of the season, all by two points or less.
One of the surest bets around is that Syracuse will win at home. Even though Rutgers shot in front 18-5, the Orangemen won 71-65, Marty Headd leading the way with 20 points and Roosevelt Bouie adding 13 points, nine rebounds, six blocked shots and three steals. The only good thing Rutgers Coach Tom Young could say about Syracuse's Manley Field House was, "The crowd has improved. You don't get hit with as much ice anymore." The Orange then manhandled Manhattan 113-68 for its 41st consecutive home triumph. Syracuse also won for the ninth time in a row at Philadelphia's Palestra. Down by seven with 13:51 to go, the Orange beat Temple 78-76 in overtime, as Hal Cohen scored 24 points.
Georgetown's Tom Scates doesn't have impressive statistics this season, but he is beginning to make use of his 6'11", 245-pound body. Against St. Francis, Scates got the Hoyas' first basket on an over-the-shoulder, one-handed dunk. He then blocked two shots and scooped up a loose ball, taking it in for a layup that put the Hoyas in front 9-3. They went on to win 74-62. In an 88-80 victory over American University, Scates had just one point, but he snuffed nine shots. The rest of Georgetown's points were scored by John Duren and Eric Floyd, who had 23 each, Steve Martin (21) and Craig Shelton (20).
The season's most improbable shot—an 80-footer at the final buzzer—helped St. Bona-venture win 74-72 at Niagara. Delmar Harrod of the Bonnies, who swished the lengthy toss, put Niagara over a barrel for keeps when he went to the other extreme and scored on a layup with only four seconds left in overtime.
2.N. CAROLINA (15-3)
San Francisco, which had left the heart of its offense in the hands of Bill Cartwright all season, displayed much-needed balance while defeating Santa Clara twice. In a game filled with 50 personal fouls, the Dons edged the Broncos 75-74 at USF. Cartwright, plagued by fouls, had just four points, but Billy Reid and Guy Williams picked up the slack by scoring 17 apiece. Londale Theus, who had 28 for the Broncos in that game, poured in 31 points in another losing cause three days later. San Francisco won 94-86 with an attack that included lots of points from the outside, on drives and on backdoor plays. A 29-point effort by Doug Jemison kept the Dons rolling as they boosted their WCAC record to 6-0.
Arizona, a surprise winner over UCLA the week before, completed a parlay against the Pac-10's Los Angeles teams by beating visiting Southern Cal 74-72. Joe Nehls popped in 31 points for the Wildcats.
Taking over first place in the conference was UCLA, which whipped Washington State 89-71 and Washington 86-61. In their victory over State, the Bruins got 22 points from Brad Holland and a career-high 21 from Kiki Vandeweghe and crimped the Cougars with a revitalized press. Solid performances by David Greenwood, who had 24 points and 16 rebounds, and Vandeweghe, who had 21 and 10, helped the Bruins dispose of Washington. USC stayed within a half game of UCLA by putting away Washington State 67-61.
New Mexico, which a year ago ended Nevada-Las Vegas' 72-game home-court winning streak, shocked the Rebels again amid a flurry of 66 personal fouls. Larry Belin led the Lobos with 30 points, but the clinching points came from Mike Stewart and Phil Abney. The Rebels' Flintie Ray Williams made a layup in the last four seconds to tie the score at 99-all, but he also was called for charging. Stewart sank a free throw to break a 99-99 tie, and Abney added the game's final basket to make it 102-99.