"There's three schools here I can't even find," muses Al McGuire, the TV commentator and former coach. "Hee-low high-low, lo-la and la-la-la. One of them is 100 miles out on an atoll."
McGuire was probably referring to Hawaii-Hilo and Hawaii Loa, both of which hosted Georgetown in November and promise to hold tournaments of their own next year, and Brigham Young-Hawaii, which isn't on an atoll, but is an outpost on Oahu's North Shore.
BYU-Hawaii played Houston this afternoon. You'll recall that two Cougars, Benny Anders and Braxton Clark, bolted the team during last year's Chaminade Classic, unhappy with their playing time. Anders is out for the year with a knee injury and didn't make this trip. Clark, meanwhile, saw only 13 minutes of light in Houston's 100-77 romp but, as of late tonight, was still registered at the Turtle Bay Hilton.
Georgia Tech's Great Eight beat Maryland 70-69 in the Rainbow final after guard Mark Price, the tournament MVP, flicked in a scoop layup with :03 left. Cremins owes a debt to Bill Foster, the former Clemson coach who's now at Miami, for his advice about the islands. "He said either go early or stay late," Cremins says. "And if you plan to do any winning, go early." Tech went early, won—and had planned to stay late anyway.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 29
Three schools whose states lent their names to World War II battleships—Arizona, Missouri and North Carolina—played in a tournament hosted by Hawaii Pacific College in a navy rec hall at Pearl Harbor. Before Arizona and Missouri tipped off the opener—yes, Arizona went down, 76-73—three Missouri Tigers (Malcolm Thomas, Jeff Strong and Blake Wortham) ran laps around the court for unspecified disciplinary reasons; they then sat out the first half. (A sterner sentence was handed down to two Creighton Bluejays. They were sent back home to Omaha for, in coach Willis Reed's words, indulging in "a little too much nightlife.")
Chievous scored 32 points for Missouri, while playing—of course—with a Band-Aid adorning his left calf.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 30
Unranked Missouri sank 10 of 13 free throws in the final 1:02 to sink previously undefeated No. 15 North Carolina 81-76 this afternoon for the Hawaii Pacific championship. "I consider them expensive," said Chievous afterward of the Tar Heels. "A class act. They stay at the Regal Beagle." Carolina thus became the seventh Top 20 team to lose in Hawaii over the holidays.