Will Alabama's Tide roll out to sea? Are Kentucky's early season Wildcats merely a bunch of Mildcats? Should Tennessee's Volunteers enlist in the Salvation Army? All three had been stunned the week before, 'Bama twice. Surely they would rise up last week. They didn't. Kentucky and Tennessee were again upset by SEC opponents, and Alabama lost two more games.
Vanderbilt was the first to leave the Tide fit to be tied, winning 81-79 at Tuscaloosa after building a 23-point lead. Phil Cox led the Commodores with 24 points. At Georgia, the Crimson Tide climbed out of a 56-49 hole, knotted the score at 62-62 but fell 67-64. The Bulldogs' Donald Hartry, a freshman guard, played 23 minutes in place of injured starter Gerald Crosby and sank seven of nine shots, the last a 20-footer with 12 seconds left.
Kentucky nearly lost twice, too. But Mississippi State, which led 47-45 with five seconds to go, threw an errant inbounds pass that wound up in the hands of the 'Cats' Charles Hurt, who scored at the buzzer. In overtime, Kentucky popped in 10 foul shots and won 59-53. Then the Wildcats returned to Lexington and lost their first home game ever to Auburn, 75-67. The Tigers, who were 0 for 26 in Kentucky, led in rebounding 37-26, held Center Mel Turpin of Kentucky to three points and three rebounds and got 22 points from Bobby Lockhart and 20 from freshman Richard Person. The Tigers (3-1) thus took sole possession of the SEC lead.
Tennessee also had to struggle to avoid being a two-time loser. The Vols, who squandered a 35-28 halftime advantage at LSU, won 59-58 as Dale Ellis came through with a four-point play with 2:23 remaining—a layup plus two free throws after being intentionally fouled. Like Kentucky, Tennessee was then upset at home, 75-74 by Mississippi State. The Bulldogs' Jeff Malone got nine of his 35 points in OT.
As usual, Indiana had trouble at Purdue, blowing most of a 20-point bulge and failing to get a field goal during the last 6:22. But the Hoosiers, who had lost their last six games at Mackey Arena, held on to win 81-78 behind 23 points apiece from Ted Kitchel and Randy Wittman. Indiana sank 14 of 16 foul shots during the closing 6:22, 10 by Kitchel and Wittman. Those two also led the Hoosiers to another Big Ten victory, 69-55 at Illinois, as Wittman scored 27 points and Kitchel 20.
Michigan put the clamps on Minnesota's 7'3" Randy Breuer in the second half, holding him to one rebound and keeping him scoreless for the final 8� minutes. That enabled the Wolverines to come from nine points back for a 63-58 home-court win. Next time out, at Michigan State, Breuer had 26 points as the Gophers (3-1) took over first place in the conference with a 69-67 victory. The decisive points, however, came from Guard Barry Wohler, a 21.4% field-goal shooter who came up with a loose ball and popped in a shot from the top of the key three seconds before time ran out.
Seven points in a row by Greg Stokes early in the second half helped Iowa cool off Northwestern, which was 11-1. After that 66-57 triumph, the Hawkeyes went home and beat Iowa State 73-56 in a non-conference game in which Stokes had 21 points.
UCLA started the week on the road by laboring to an 87-86 victory over Arizona State and ended it at home by belaboring Oregon 97-69 and Oregon State 99-77. It was Rod Foster's 23-foot jumper with 15 seconds left, the last of his 30 points, that gave the Bruins the first of their three Pac-10 wins last week. In all, Foster had 62 points and Kenny Fields 59.