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Maryland coach Lefty Driesell was in no mood to talk with reporters following the Terrapins' 71-70 double-overtime loss at Georgia Tech. "I don't want to answer any questions right now," Driesell said moments after Tech's John Salley had converted a three-point play with eight seconds left in the second OT to give the Yellow Jackets their third consecutive victory over the Terps. Driesell undoubtedly knew that most of the queries would concern the status of Maryland guards Adrian Branch, the Terps' third-leading scorer, and Steve Rivers, a senior reserve. Driesell had suspended them indefinitely the day before the Terps' 67-66 win at Virginia. Branch, Rivers and a female companion were arrested by Prince George's County (Md.) police and charged with possession of $10 worth of marijuana, a misdemeanor. It marked the second time in two seasons that Driesell had suspended a key player. Last year he set down forward Herman Veal after a female student had charged Veal with sexual misconduct and he'd been disciplined by a student judicial board.
North Carolina's Buzz Peterson and Steve Hale, who are sharing point-guard duties in place of injured freshman Kenny Smith, led the Tar Heels to a 97-75 rout of Clemson. Peterson scored a career-high 19 points on nine of 12 shooting, and Hale dished off a team-high six assists. The Tar Heels then swept through the 26th annual North-South Doubleheaders in Charlotte, whipping Furman 83-48 and The Citadel 76-60. Also in the North-South, North Carolina State nipped The Citadel 50-49 and pounded Furman 95-72 to extend its victory streak to six games. Wake Forest was a double winner, too. Led by center Anthony Teachey, who had had a total of 43 points and 23 rebounds, the Deacons defeated Georgia Tech 78-74 and Clemson 76-72 in overtime.
"We're still in first place [in the Big East]," said Syracuse center Andre Hawkins after surging Georgetown beat the Orange 80-67 in the Carrier Dome, "but you have to put an asterisk next to it. This means the conference will belong to Georgetown for a while." The Hoyas got a game-high 22 points from freshman Reggie Williams in their victory over the Orange and 23 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots from Patrick Ewing in an 87-62 defeat of Connecticut. On Sunday, Syracuse fell one-half game behind Georgetown by losing 77-75 at Villanova.
The key to Kentucky's 69-62 loss to Alabama was no mystery to Wildcat guard Jim Master. "We just turned the ball over too much," he said after the Crimson Tide knocked Kentucky out of a first-place tie with Auburn in the SEC. The Cats shot 54.9% from the field and outrebounded the smaller Tide 36-27, but Alabama's full-court pressure helped force a whopping 23 Kentucky turnovers, 14 by the backcourt trio of Master, Roger Hardan and Leroy Byrd.
Illinois guard Bruce Douglas said that compared with the Fighting Illini's quadruple overtime defeat of Michigan two weeks ago, their 54-52 double-OT triumph at Iowa was a breeze. "After all," said Douglas, who led the Illini with 17 points, including a crucial basket and a free throw in the final 56 seconds of the second overtime, "we've been practicing winning in overtime." Purdue, tied with Illinois for the Big Ten lead, eased by Northwestern 52-44, then edged Iowa 48-46 for its first win in Iowa City since 1977.
Before DePaul's 59-57 overtime defeat of St. John's, Redmen coach Lou Carnesecca gave Blue Demon coach Ray Meyer a retirement gift, a wall clock. Little did Looie know that the Redmen also would give away a 49-43 lead with 4:12 remaining in regulation play and a 55-51 edge with 2:41 left in OT. The winning shot, a 10-foot jumper from the left side by Kenny Patterson after a length-of-the-court drive, was called, oddly enough, the Indian Play. "That's like a one-on-one play," said Patterson. "I just ran down the floor, got into the flow and got the shot."
Former Memphis State and current Alabama-Birmingham coach Gene Bartow returned to Memphis with a starting lineup composed entirely of Memphis natives. The prodigal sons scored eight unanswered points in the final 5:53 of regulation time to knot the score at 51-51, but then Memphis State's Keith Lee spoiled Bartow's homecoming. Lee made a pair of free throws with six seconds left in OT and then pulled down a game-saving rebound with one second to go, to give the Tigers a 53-51 victory.