North Carolina won the Stanford Invitational tournament despite two dreadful performances by All-America Michael Jordan. Jordan scored only 11 points and committed six turnovers in the Tar Heels' 73-56 opening-round victory over Fordham and then had just four points before fouling out in Carolina's 88-75 win over Stanford in the championship game.
Though the victory over the Cardinal was the 500th of Tar Heel Coach Dean Smith's career. Smith was too upset with his team's erratic performance to celebrate. " Stanford took us out of our pressure defense," said Smith. "I kind of thought we were pretty good defensively until tonight. They made us look pretty foolish." Carolina, harassed by Stanford's own full-court pressure defense, saw its 55-39 halftime lead dwindle to 74-68 with 3:39 remaining. After Jordan fouled out with 9:42 to play and Sam Perkins, who scored 17 points and was named the tournament MVP, picked up his fourth personal a minute and a half later. Smith ordered Carolina into its four-corners offense to preserve the victory.
Wichita State struggled to subdue stubborn Colorado State 64-54. The Rams converted 10 of their first 13 shots against the Shockers, and with Point Guard Todd Benn single-handedly shredding Wichita State's full-court man-to-man press, Colorado State trailed 33-31 at intermission. But after Shocker Coach Gene Smithson ordered a switch to a zone press to start the second half, the Rams committed five turnovers and Wichita State raced to a 43-33 lead. Shocker Xavier McDaniel scored a game-high 20 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the victory.
UTEP's 60-59 double-overtime win over New Mexico State in Las Cruces gave the Miners the first sweep in the home-and-home Interstate 10 rivalry ( El Paso is 45 miles east of Las Cruces) since 1978. Earlier, UTEP had beaten the Aggies 62-49 in El Paso, limiting them to just 36.4% shooting.
Even after North Carolina State extended its nation's-best winning streak to 15 games by whipping UNC Charlotte 79-60 in an opening doubleheader of the McDonald's Classic, Wolfpack Coach Jim Valvano was concerned. "When we get away from ball control, we look poor," he said. "I still don't think we're playing well."
Sure enough, Virginia Tech crushed the Pack 89-65 the next night. Suckered into a running game by the smaller, quicker Hokies, State committed 23 turnovers and shot a season-low 39.7%. "It was a good old-fashioned butt-kicking," said Valvano. Tech's Dell Curry, who had 26 points in an 88-80 overtime loss to Wake Forest the night before, led the Hokies with 25 points and seven rebounds. Wake Forest followed up its win over Tech with a 77-55 trouncing of UNC Charlotte.
North Carolina beat UT- Chattanooga 85-63 in Chapel Hill in a game that began with starters Perkins and Kenny Smith on the bench for showing up five minutes late to a team meal, a no-no in Coach Dean Smith's book. Smith the player and Perkins got stuck in traffic returning from a barbershop, of all things. It hardly mattered. Perkins, with wounded pride but neater hair, came off the bench to score 16 points and grab 13 rebounds, while Smith added 10 points and five assists in 20 minutes. Jordan poured in a game-high 28 points, hitting 13 of 17 shots from the floor.
Both Michigan State and Maryland suffered embarrassing upsets in a doubleheader in the New Jersey Meadowlands. The Spartans' performance in their 73-66 loss to an inspired St. Peter's in the first game was so dismal that not even Sam Vincent's 25 points in the second half, including 13 in the last 1:43, could bring them back. In the nightcap, New Jersey native Tony Campbell's 23 points and nine rebounds paced Ohio State to a 72-68 win over Maryland. The Terps bounced back two nights later to wallop Canisius 77-55.