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THE WEEK (Feb. 9-15)
Herm Weiskopf
February 23, 1981
MIDEAST
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February 23, 1981

The Week (feb. 9-15)

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SI TOP 20

1. OREGON STATE (21-0)

1*

2. VIRGINIA (22-0)

2

3. DePAUL (22-1)

3

4. LOUISIANA ST. (23-1)

4

5. WAKE FOREST (20-2)

6

6. ARIZONA ST. (19-3)

5

7. KENTUCKY (18-4)

8

8. UTAH (21-2)

7

9. UCLA (16-4)

10

10. TENNESSEE (18-4)

9

11. NOTRE DAME (18-4)

12

12. N. CAROLINA (19-6)

11

13. IOWA (17-4)

14

14. BYU (18-5)

13

15. WICHITA ST. (19-2)

16

16. ILLINOIS (16-5)

19

17. INDIANA (16-8)

--

18. MARYLAND (16-7)

17

19. ARKANSAS (18-6)

--

20. KANSAS ST. (17-5)

--

*Last week

MIDEAST

Halfway through an overtime at Minnesota. Iowa's 6'10" Steve Krafcisin took a pass 10 feet from the basket. With two Gophers draped around his neck, Krafcisin was unable to shoot at the apex of his jump, but he somehow shot on his way down. The ball went in. giving the Hawkeyes a 58-56 edge en route to a 60-58 win. The defeat was the third Big Ten OT loss at home for Minnesota. Iowa later defeated Northwestern 82-64.

Indiana also drubbed the Wildcats, 86-52, and then struggled to a 59-52 triumph at Wisconsin. The Badgers might have won except, in Coach Bill Cofield's words, "We missed bunnies, chippies, you name it."

The Big Ten took on the look of the Three I League, what with Iowa and Indiana tied for first and Illinois one game back. Whippetlike Illini guards Derek Harper, Perry Range and Craig Tucker, the team's invaluable sixth man, carried Illinois to two victories. They combined for 39 points and six assists, and Eddie Johnson scored 20 points as the Illini romped past Wisconsin 84-65. Harper, Range and Tucker then had 39 points and seven assists in a 63-57 win at Ohio State. Tucker, making the most of Play 22, scored eight consecutive points as Illinois moved in front 53-50. Describing Play 22, Tucker said, "All we do is put two guys on each side of the lane. If my man is overplaying me, I pop out and get the shot off a pick or shoot behind the double screen." After the Buckeyes squared matters at 55-all, Tucker put in a basket from behind a Johnson screen on one of the variations of ol' 22. Still, the Illini might not have won had it not been for the job Derek Holcomb did on Buckeye Center Herb Williams. Holcomb held Williams to nine points, only the third time in four seasons he failed to score in double figures.

Michigan had no such success against Williams, who got 24 points as visiting Ohio State won 105-87. When Williams wasn't tormenting the Wolverines, 5'9" Todd Penn (24 points on 12-for-16 shooting) and Clark Kellogg (22 points and 19 rebounds) were. Michigan's Mike McGee had 37 points in that game and 23 in a 70-66 loss at Michigan State. Kevin Smith sank 10 of 14 field-goal attempts and finished with 28 points for the Spartans. As a result, the Wolverines, who began the week in a three-way tie for first, slipped into a three-way deadlock for fourth. Purdue, which started off by winning 63-48 at Michigan State, was blown out 92-72 at Minnesota as 7'2" Randy Breuer hit on 13 of 17 shots and had 29 points.

With Mark Aguirre scoring 22 of his 24 points in the first half, DePaul streaked past Creighton 83-57. In their next game, a 61-53 triumph at Evansville, the Blue Demons were led by Bernard Randolph, who outscored Aguirre 17-16. DePaul had difficulty putting away the Purple Aces, who trailed only 32-31 at halftime and who outrebounded the Blue Demons 36-29.

Alabama, which had toppled Kentucky 59-55 at home in January, lost to the Wildcats 77-62 in Lexington. Guard Dicky Beal and Forward Chuck Verderber, neither of whom played when Kentucky lost at Tuscaloosa, were decisive factors. "They added a new dimension," said Tide Forward Eddie Phillips. Hounded by Beal, Alabama's Eddie Adams, who scored 20 points in the teams' first meeting, sank just one of six shots from the field. Verderber had eight points and six rebounds. Sam Bowie, held to eight points at Tuscaloosa, had 21 points and 14 rebounds at home. Bowie was also impressive during a 62-55 victory at Mississippi, scoring 13 of his 25 points in a four-minute surge.

Tennessee, which was picked to finish in the middle of the SEC, clung to third place by beating Florida 53-52 and Vanderbilt 79-72. The Vols trailed the Gators by three with 1:39 left, but Michael Brooks pulled them through by sinking a pair of 22-footers.

Alabama missed 16 of its first 17 shots during a 70-57 loss at Louisiana State, but Georgia got off to a fast start against the Tigers, leading 28-16. Then Howard Carter made LSU a 64-62 winner by canning a long corner shot despite being double-teamed. Dominique Wilkins, who had 22 points for the Bulldogs against the Tigers, scored 29 as they beat Mississippi State 68-65.

Though Georgia is 14-8, things aren't quite so peachy for the state's other teams. Georgia Southern was 5-16 after defeating Arkansas-Little Rock 91-74 and losing to Mercer 60-58 in overtime. Georgia State, 4-19, lost to South Alabama 82-49 and New Orleans 77-58, but got its first Sun Belt Conference victory, beating Jacksonville 52-50. Georgia Tech, 0-11 in the ACC, fell to 4-19 overall after losing 54-50 to Troy (Ala.) State and 74-51 to Baptist of South Carolina.

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