Having failed to keep up with unbeaten DePaul by playing cautiously, Alabama-Birmingham tried to overcome a 46-31 deficit in the final eight minutes with some running and gunning. Five minutes later the blazing Blazers were down by only two points, but then Mark Aguirre tossed in four of his 22 points and the Blue Demons hung on to win 57-54. Next time out DePaul finally had a laugher, shredding Evansville 105-94 as Aguirre got 27 points.
Tracy Jackson grew up only a long jump shot from the Maryland campus, but Notre Dame landed him. It was Jackson who gave the Irish a 64-63 win over the Terps when he sank a layup with six seconds left. Notre Dame won despite the absence of its No. 1 scorer, Kelly Tripucka, who was hospitalized with back spasms.
1. DePAUL (17-0)
2. OHIO STATE (14-3)
3. KENTUCKY (17-3)
As one Washington writer put it, "It couldn't have been more startling if palm trees suddenly had sprouted in Pullman." It was there that Washington State drubbed Southern Cal 77-57 behind Don Collins' 36 points. And it was in Pullman two days later that the Cougars concluded their most memorable basketball week ever by whipping UCLA for the first time in 14 years, 80-64. Collins, a senior forward, scored 31 points against the Bruins as State shot a conference-record .737. That left State 15-3 overall and 7-2 in the Pac-10, while UCLA slipped to 10-7 and 5-4.
Still first was Oregon State, an 86-55 winner at California. Coach Ralph Miller's Beavers, few of whom were heavily recruited by other schools, breezed to their 13th straight win as Ray Blume scored 20 points.
Kurt Nimphius of Arizona State felt nauseated while playing against Arizona. That, however, did not deter the 6'10" forward from compiling healthy stats during the Sun Devils' 97-72 romp: 10-for-13 field-goal shooting, 28 points, 11 rebounds.
San Diego State may well be weary of being manhandled by Brigham Young teams. Last fall the Aztecs suffered one of their worst football losses when the Cougars smeared them 63-14. On Thursday the BYU cagers creamed State 123-91, the most points ever scored against the Aztecs. Hawaii, though, refused to run with the Cougars and succumbed by only 34-33 when Devin Durrant sank a foul shot with four seconds remaining.
Since dropping its season opener, Weber State has been unstoppable. An 83-67 triumph at Idaho State, in which Bruce Collins swished in 24 points and David Johnson 23, kept the Wildcats atop the Big Sky. It also extended their victory streak to 18 games, the longest among major-college teams.
1. OREGON STATE (18-1)
2. ARIZONA STATE (14-4)
3. BYU (15-4)