Kentucky's backcourt leader, Kyle Macy, may be the smartest player in the tournament, and he directs waves of able bodies, for example, 7'1" Sam Bowie, streak-shooting senior Jay Shidler, senior defender LaVon Williams. Bowie played Gminski to a draw in their first meeting back on Nov. 17, and now he is much improved, "doing things that deny human expectation," according to his coach, Joe Hall.
Inhuman was the word for Purdue's Joe Barry Carroll in the early rounds as he got 69 points and 25 rebounds to dazzle the visiting Eastern press, with whom he refused to speak after victories over LaSalle (90-82) and St. John's (87-72). "The atom bomb," Redmen Coach Lou Carnesecca called Carroll.
But now Joe Barry must face Indiana. In two meetings this season Purdue and Indiana split home victories, and Carroll missed 18 of 25 shots and scored only 18 points. If their inside bomb is not ticking, the Boilermakers' outside shooting often is a dud, which could turn this intra- Big Ten, intrastate rivalry into a rout and propel the Hoosiers into another rematch with Kentucky.
The gag in Bloomington is that the draw was rigged by Jose D. Silva of the Puerto Rican police force—you gringos, of course, remember Jose?—but if anyone can stop the 'Cats in Rupp Arena, it's Bobby Knight-coached Indiana, with the resurrected Mike Woodson and the multitalented Isiah Thomas. In the teams' December meeting, freshman Thomas fouled out late, at which point Macy took over for a 69-58 Kentucky victory. But both teams are more settled now, and this could be the key game of the tournament. Give the edge to Indiana.
The power and the glory of the Big Ten swept into the East Regional, too, where the best trio in the territory will be joined at Philadelphia by a dangerous floater, Coach Lute Olson's Iowa team. The immaculate, silver-haired Olson is right out of the shirt ads, but his Hawkeyes are barely out of the hospital. Kenny Arnold and Bob Hansen are playing with broken hands. Ronnie Lester is just back from knee surgery. Last week Steve Krafcisin came down with stomach flu. Still, the Hawkeyes shut down another Hawkeye (Whitney of North Carolina State) in Greensboro as Reserve Forward Vince Brookins played strong defense and added seven baskets without a miss in the second half of a pullaway 77-64 win.
Without star Guard Lester, Iowa was 8-7. With him, the Hawkeyes are 13-1, counting and inspired. Nevertheless, Iowa depends on heavy, full-court defensive pressure from basically seven men—a weakness that its next opponent, Syracuse, can exploit.
Just how deep Coach Jim Boeheim can dig into the Orange roster was proved against Villanova when as quickly as the Louie and Bouie Show closed—Louie Orr and a foul-plagued Roosevelt Bouie combined for 13 points—the Danny and Santi Show opened. Danny Schayes came off the bench to contribute a dozen points, and freshman Erich Santifer scored 29 more in a 97-83 Syracuse victory. The performance may have halted a Syracuse slump, but Bouie's tendinitis-afflicted leg may be an insurmountable liability in a matchup against the Maryland-Georgetown winner.
The Terps and Hoyas had to overcome substantial deficits against Tennessee and Iona, respectively, to set up their battle for the bragging rights to the District of Columbia. This is another rematch, natch, but because Maryland Center Buck Williams missed the Terps' December loss and because Albert King had not fully displayed his credentials as the best all-round player in the land, might there be a different outcome?
Not really. In Craig (Big Sky) Shelton, Georgetown has an underrated cornerman. In John Duren and Eric (Sleepy) Floyd, the Hoyas have an ideal back-court. The 6'10", 300-pound Thompson appreciates the value of size and stamina. The Hoyas have won 14 straight by alternating three centers, who will make life miserable for Williams, and by pressing all over in the same numbers and with the same urgency shown by lobbyists storming Capitol Hill. Lefty Driesell's Maryland is the best transition team left in the NCAAs—Greg Manning, the Spider Boy, cracks the whip—but when the shallow Terps foul, they are in trouble. In the Philly primary, here's a vote for Georgetown.
In the Midwest, Louisville's Denny Crum resented the fact that LSU was seeded ahead of his Cardinals, but he recovered from the snub quickly enough to make an incredible coaching move with a second-round game against Kansas State on the line. What Crum did was insert Tony Branch, who had taken all of 29 shots on the year, for the fouled-out Darrell Griffith and order a twisting, leaning, off-balance 15-footer by Branch that kaaanged off the rim and fell into the basket to win the overtime game, 71-69. Ah, genius.