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THE WEEK (Feb. 7-13)
Roger Jackson
February 21, 1983
WEST
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February 21, 1983

The Week (feb. 7-13)

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SI TOP 20

1. UNLV (22-0)

1*

2. INDIANA (18-2)

5

3. ST. JOHN'S (20-2)

7

4. N. CAROLINA (21-4)

2

5. VIRGINIA (19-3)

3

6. UCLA (17-3)

4

7. LOUISVILLE (21-3)

11

8. HOUSTON (20-2)

12

9. VILLANOVA (17-4)

17

10. MEMPHIS STATE (18-3)

6

11. MISSOURI (19-4)

9

12. WICHITA STATE (18-3)

8

13. ARKANSAS (20-1)

13

14. KENTUCKY (16-5)

18

15. GEORGETOWN (16-6)

14

16. TENNESSEE (15-6)

15

17. ILLINOIS STATE (17-4)

10

18. MONTANA (19-3)

--

19. BOSTON COLL. (17-4)

--

20. OKLAHOMA (18-6)

20

* Last week

WEST

Three years ago, when Charlie Sitton announced his decision to play basketball at Oregon State, Bill Walton, the former UCLA star, warned him that he had made a mistake. "Walton told me at an all-star game that it was too bad I had chosen OSU," Sitton said. "He said that I was going to lose to UCLA for four years." But the only one in error thus far has been Walton. Oregon State upset UCLA in Corvallis 69-65 for its fourth straight homecourt victory over the Bruins since 1980. It was UCLA's first defeat in the Pac-10 this season. Sitton was the power in this latest Beaver victory, scoring 25 points, getting six rebounds and dishing out five assists.

But for UCLA there were mitigating factors: the Bruins' Stuart Gray, the conference's leading rebounder, suffered an injured left knee while going to the boards only 25 seconds into the game, and Forward Kenny Fields, UCLA's leading scorer, dislocated his left shoulder while chasing a loose ball with 9:49 to play in the first half. Nonetheless, the Bruins rallied to tie the score at 39-39 on a jump shot by Michael Holton with 15:20 remaining in the game. But Oregon State scored the next three hoops, one by Sitton and two by Forward A.C. Green, which gave the Beavers a 45-39 lead with 13:09 to go.

Earlier in the week, the Bruins came from behind to beat Oregon 67-56 in Eugene, but they had to resort to a 2-3 zone defense to overcome a 41-34 Duck lead with 14:11 to play. "I don't like the zone," said UCLA Coach Larry Farmer, echoing his legendary mentor John Wooden, "but you've got to play it in certain situations. Tonight I guessed right and it worked for us."

Despite Nevada-Las Vegas' 22-0 record, many observers still wonder just how good the Runnin' Rebels really are. After UNLV beat hapless Pacific in Stockton 79-62, Coach Jerry Tarkanian was one of them. "If we're a good team, we have to play better than this," said Tark. "We had no intensity and concentration. Our zone defense was poor and our man-to-man no better. I was embarrassed at halftime." With good reason. Despite suiting up just eight players, the Tigers trailed by only 42-39 at the half and held a 47-46 lead with 18:06 minutes to play. But UNLV Center Sidney Green, who scored 24 of his career-high 34 points in the second half, pumped in 14 points during a 20-7 spurt that gave the Rebels a 13-point lead, putting the game on ice.

UNLV found the going no easier in a 66-59 victory at Tarkanian's alma mater, Fresno State. The Rebels trailed 22-21 at the half, having been stifled by the Bulldogs' tenacious 1-3-1 zone. "I thought we played too cautiously," Tarkanian said. "I told the kids at halftime to open it up a little." Forward Larry Anderson did. He had eight points during a 23-10 run that gave UNLV a commanding 44-32 advantage.

Big Sky leader Montana snapped Idaho's 43-game home winning streak, pounding the Vandals 80-61 behind Forward Derrick Pope's 20 points and eight rebounds.

EAST

Based on its recent performances, Virginia appeared to have the edge in its ACC showdown with North Carolina in Chapel Hill. "We're playing well right now," said Cavalier Coach Terry Holland. "I guess you could call it the Game of the Century—again." With the Cavs ahead 63-53 with 4:12 left in Game of the Century II, it appeared that Virginia would avenge its 101-95 loss to the Tar Heels six weeks ago. But North Carolina ran off seven straight points to pull three points behind, 63-60, with 2:54 left. That set the stage for the Tar Heels' Michael Jordan, who tapped in a missed three-pointer with 1:07 to play and then stole the ball from Cavalier Guard Rick Carlisle and jammed home a breakaway bucket that gave North Carolina a 64-63 victory. "The opportunity was there," said Jordan of his last-minute heroics. "If I see an opportunity like that, I take it." Three days later, Dwayne McClain of Villanova took advantage of the Heels, hitting three free throws in the last 1:16 of the game to cap the Wildcats' 56-53 victory over North Carolina.

Villanova opened the week with a pair of Big East wins, 86-79 over Connecticut and 78-65 over Pittsburgh. Guard Stewart Granger riddled UConn's 2-3 zone for 24 points, hitting 11 of 15 from the field, while Center John Pinone, who was taking penicillin for a bad case of the flu, scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half. Pinone added 25 more in the victory over stubborn Pitt; it was his final performance in Villanova's cozy (3,000-seat) Field House. "John was a little nervous and excited before the game, besides being really sick," said Wildcat Coach Rollie Massimino, "but that will never stop him from playing." Boston College had a 91-76 victory over Seton Hall and an 89-74 win over archrival Holy Cross.

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