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DePaul was the only major undefeated team left. Sandwiched around a 93-79 rout of Maine in which Mark Aguirre had 31 points were two narrow victories for the Blue Demons. First, DePaul squeezed past Lamar. When the Blue Demons went into a delay offense with a 57-48 lead, the Cardinals forced eight turnovers and closed the margin to 59-54 with 62 seconds to go. Lamar's Mike Olliver sank a 22-foot bomb and scored a three-point play to forge a 59-59 tie. But Skip Dillard made DePaul a 61-59 victor when he sank a jumper with two seconds left. "We weren't playing basketball," DePaul Coach Ray Meyer complained. "Maybe it was Chinese checkers." On Sunday the Blue Demons played basketball and, with Aguirre netting 31 points, beat Louisiana State 78-73.
LSU earlier had taken two Southeastern Conference tussles. Rudy Macklin poured in 26 points as the Tigers beat Auburn 93-82. LSU then handed Tennessee its first SEC loss, 75-74, as Macklin had 21 points and De-Wayne Scales 22. The Vols used a 15-0 spurt midway through the second half and a flurry of foul shots near the end to knock off Mississippi State 70-61.
Kentucky was 1� games behind Tennessee after crunching Florida 76-63 and Vanderbilt 106-90. The Wildcats wiped out the Gators with a 16-0 outburst and won a foul-shooting war against the Commodores, converting 44 of 48 tries, while Vandy made 40 of 49. Mike Rhodes kept Vanderbilt going with 34 points, but the Wildcats got 18 points and eight assists from Kyle Macy and 16 points and eight rebounds from Sam Bowie.
Big Ten leader Ohio State continued to live dangerously. Minnesota led the Buckeyes 50-38, only to lose 75-70 in overtime as State put on one of its typical late rallies. Eight of the Buckeyes' 11 overtime points were scored by Herb Williams, who had a total of 26. Ohio State lost another overtime game, 75-74, to Michigan, when Mark Lozier's free throw bounced off the rim twice and fell through the hoop. Mike McGee with 23 points and Thad Garner with 19 paced the Wolverines.
The week was a bummer for Coach Paul Hansen of Oklahoma State. Early on, Hansen learned that his starting center and one of his first-string forwards were academically ineligible and were through playing for the season. Then Hansen's dog was hit by a car and suffered a broken leg. On Wednesday the Cowboys played well, but ran into an Oklahoma squad that shot a school-record .656 to win 91-82. On Saturday, State was working toward an upset of Missouri, leading by four points with 4:06 left. The Tigers, however, ended Hansen's miserable week by reeling off 11 straight points and winning 69-64.
Oklahoma and Missouri also took turns knocking off Iowa State. The Sooners sank 37 of 46 free throws and got 28 points from Terry Stotts while defeating the Cyclones 93-78. Missouri, which began the week with a .582 shooting percentage, the best in the country, missed nine of its first 12 shots against Iowa State. After the intermission, though, Steve Stipanovich tossed in 16 of his 18 points and the Tigers canned 17 of 24 shots en route to an 85-70 Missouri waltz.
Colorado, which was off to its best start (12-2) in 11 seasons, ran into snags. The Buffalos, the Big Eight's only undefeated team (9-0) in pre-conference play at home, dropped two conference games on their home court. First they blew an eight-point second-half lead against Kansas State and fell 71-65. Then they lost two standout players with sprained ankles, squandered a seven-point advantage against Nebraska, went more than 14 minutes without a basket and lost 53-44.
An effective zone defense and 15-for-20 shooting in the second half earned Kansas State a 61-52 triumph at Kansas. That left the Wildcats in a four-way tie for first with Nebraska, Oklahoma and Missouri.