Michigan State played with verve, but could not gain ground in the Big Ten. The Spartans broke a 30-30 tie at Indiana by scoring the first eight points of the second half, then went on to win 59-47. Next came an 80-57 drubbing of Michigan. In registering their most convincing victory over the Wolverines since 1942, the Spartans, who built a 38-16 halftime lead, got 21 points from Earvin Johnson and 20 from Gregory Kelser, who became State's alltime scoring leader.
Still clinging to first place—and a one-game bulge over Michigan State—were Iowa and Ohio State. The Hawkeyes beat Purdue 75-72 to drop the Boilermakers out of a first-place tie. Iowa then downed Illinois 67-53 as Ronnie Lester scored 19 points and, as Coach Lute Olson put it, "communicated very well on his outlet passes." Ohio State prevailed 74-68 at Minnesota in a battle of huge centers: 6'11" Herb Williams of the Buckeyes had 26 points and 12 rebounds, while 6'10" Kevin Mc-Hale of the Gophers had 28 and 13. But Minnesota had no one to match State Guard Kelvin Ransey's 20 points. Ransey scored 25 more as the Buckeyes dumped Northwestern 88-73. Purdue stayed a game off the pace by beating Minnesota 80-56.
Detroit raised its record to 20-4, downing St. Bonaventure 106-101 in overtime and stomping Colgate 86-66. Earl Cureton kept Detroit motoring with 32 points and 23 rebounds against the Bonnies as the Titans overcame a 16-point deficit in the last 12 minutes of regulation play. Terry Duerod had 26 points in that game and added 37 against the Red Raiders.
Toledo, which has the seventh-best defense among Division I teams, limited visiting Ball State to seven points on its last 15 possessions to pull out an 82-69 victory. Val Bracey's 22 points carried Central Michigan past Western Michigan 94-86 and into a tie with Toledo for first place in the Mid-American Conference.
1. NOTRE DAME (19-3)
2. LSU (21-3)
3. MICHIGAN STATE (18-5)
When Maryland upset No. 1 ranked Notre Dame three weeks ago, it was Greg Manning who passed off for the game-tying basket in the waning moments. Last week, with eight seconds to go and Maryland tied with visiting Duke at 68, it was Manning who once again had the ball. This time, though, he did not pass off. Instead, Manning put a neat fake on Jim Spanarkel and arched an eight-foot jumper for the basket that gave the Terps a 70-68 victory over the AP's fifth-ranked Blue Devils. Manning's 23 points and a tight 1-2-2 zone that forced the Blue Devils to shoot mainly from the outside or baseline were largely responsible for Maryland's upset win. Before that, Duke had struggled past North Carolina State 66-48, breaking a 38-all deadlock by outscoring the Wolfpack 21-4. On Sunday, the Blue Devils looked like the impressive team they had been expected to be, sweeping past Louisville 88-72 as Gene Banks tossed in 23 points and Mike Gminski 22.
After thumping William and Mary 85-60, North Carolina won 66-57 at Virginia, as Al Wood fired over the Cavaliers' zone for most of his 22 points. Vital, too, were two blocked shots by Mike O'Koren, both of which were turned into baskets as Carolina took a 52-46 lead. That victory moved the Tar Heels into a tie for the Atlantic Coast Conference lead with Duke and set the stage for this Saturday's showdown.
During the first half of both its road games, Notre Dame played with little inspiration or perspiration. At Madison Square Garden, the Irish led Manhattan 30-23 at halftime before wiping out the Jaspers 86-63. During the first 20 minutes at West Virginia, the Irish looked about as inspired as the green and white marsh-mallows thrown at them by the crowd of 15,118—the largest in the state's history for a basketball game—and trailed 28-25 at intermission. Once again, though, Notre Dame wore down the opposition, this time winning 70-54.
By sinking 10 of its first 13 floor shots, St. John's spurted to an eight-point advantage at Syracuse. But the Orangemen rallied to take their 15th straight game and 43rd in a row at home, 79-72. A second-half zone helped slow down the Redmen, who were undone by Louis Orr's 20 points, 14 rebounds and six assists.