1. OREGON STATE (24-3)
2. ARIZONA STATE (20-5)
3. BYU (22-4)
"I don't think this team was picked in the top 200 before the season," said Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell with pardonable exaggeration when his Terps, now in the Top Ten, clinched the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title by trimming Wake Forest 83-77. After the Deacons, who got 30 points from Alvis Rogers, moved in front 75-74, Maryland put on an 8-0 spurt in which Albert King and Buck Williams each had a dunk and four points. King wound up with 32 points, seven rebounds and six assists. During an 82-71 win over Virginia, the chief contributors were Greg Manning with 24 points and Williams with 16 and nine rebounds. Furthermore, the 6'8" Williams held the Cavaliers' 7'4" Ralph Sampson to 12 points and five rebounds.
North Carolina State and North Carolina tied for second place. Hawkeye Whitney's 26 points enabled the Wolfpack to polish off the Tar Heels 63-50. Then Whitney, who feels his best chance with the pros is as a guard, played the first half against Wake Forest at his regular forward spot, switched to the back-court for the final 20 minutes and ended with 16 points and three assists as State won 44-41. North Carolina's Dean Smith became the fifth coach to rack up 10 straight 20-victory seasons when the Tar Heels smothered Duke 96-71. For the Blue Devils, who were No. 1 in the nation early in the season, it was the fifth loss in seven games and their 14th consecutive defeat at Chapel Hill.
"We finally won the big one," shouted 6'10", 240-pound Jeff Ruland after Iona broke Louisville's 18-game winning streak, 77-60. The Gaels, who destroyed the Cardinals' renowned press, got 30 points and 21 rebounds from Ruland as they won with surprising ease despite 32 points by Louisville's Darrell Griffith. Iona also beat Siena 84-72 and Fairfield 74-53 to finish the regular season with 13 straight victories and a 25-4 record.
Ken Howard, the star of TV's The White Shadow, sat on the Boston College bench and watched the Eagles storm to a 34-18 lead over Syracuse. From there on, though, the Orangemen made BC look like Howard's Carver High squad by using a crunching full court press to rally for an 85-77 triumph. Before that, Syracuse whipped Niagara 107-82 behind freshman Erich Santifer's 20 points.
With leading scorer Reggie Carter out with the flu, Curtis Redding got a chance to start for St. John's at Temple. Redding came through with 17 points as the Redmen won 63-58 in overtime. St. John's also had a squeaker at Providence, coming out on top 68-62, thanks to a succession of late steals. Syracuse and St. John's thus tied Georgetown for the Big East championship. The Hoyas took two non-league games—98-74 over George Washington and 105-78 over Holy Cross—to wind up 21-5 overall.
"If you had written a script about the way to end a career, you couldn't have topped this," said South Carolina Coach Frank McGuire. Act One ended with the Gamecocks tied 54-54 with Western Kentucky after regulation time. Act Two ended without a point having been scored in the first extra period. Act Three began when Cedrick Hordges, who had 25 points and 11 rebounds for South Carolina, put in two quick baskets. When the curtain came down, the Gamecocks were 73-65 winners and McGuire had the 550th victory of his 30-year collegiate coaching career.
1. SYRACUSE (24-2)
2. MARYLAND (21-5)
3. ST. JOHN'S (23-3)