Indiana, the 1981 NCAA titlist, fell 75-61 to Northwestern and 65-58 to Michigan State. During the Hoosiers' first loss to the Wildcats in 20 games, Indiana Coach Bobby Knight grabbed freshman Center John Flowers by the back of the shirt, sat him down hard on the bench, screamed at him for 20 seconds and left him sitting when play resumed. MSU's Kevin Smith set a conference record by making all of his 19 free throws against the Hoosiers.
As its worst start ever continued, Michigan (1-9) lost 65-63 to Wisconsin and 88-69 to Purdue. Reacting to a newspaper report that freshman Guard Eric Turner was unhappy that he had chosen Michigan, Coach Bill Frieder snapped, "Can we sue? This is the kind of stuff we're going to be getting this year. But I'm ready for it and so are my players." They definitely weren't ready for Wisconsin freshman Scott Roth, who beat them with a last-second basket, or Purdue's Keith Edmonson, who blew them apart with 34 points.
"Did we win?" asked Ohio State Coach Eldon Miller after the Buckeyes' game with Wisconsin. The answer was yes, 66-59, despite the fact that the Buckeyes went without a field goal for the final 13:05. "I don't know how we won, except our zone defense was good to us in the end," said Miller. "I guess we were lucky." Ohio State also upset Minnesota 49-47 on Clark Kellogg's late jump shot and Syracuse 67-57 in a non-conference matchup.
Illinois took 56 shots to Iowa's 33, but the Hawkeyes won 56-50, thanks to a whopping 20-6 advantage at the foul line. "I don't count shots," said Iowa Coach Lute Olson. "I only count quality shots, and we had enough of those to win." Michael Payne (6 of 10 from the floor) and Mark Gannon (5 of 8) had 15 points apiece for the Hawkeyes. Gannon also had five free throws, five rebounds and five "incidentals"—three forced turnovers, one block and one steal. Called The Hulk because of his build and strength, he made one basket while being decked and converted it into a three-point play. "I guess I was the most surprised guy on the floor," he said. "I knew I had been fouled, so why not shoot?" The quality stats Olson liked in Iowa's 62-40 win over Purdue were Guard Kevin Boyle's assists (eight) and defense (two points allowed to Purdue's Edmonson, who had been averaging 21.2). Asked why the Hawkeyes always play such good defense, Olson said, "On pain of death."
Trailing Kentucky 32-26 after connecting on only 11 of 32 first-half field-goal attempts, Tennessee got hot, making 17 of 26 in the second half, to take the SEC lead with a 70-66 win. Earlier, Tennessee shot a stunning 75% from the field while beating Mississippi 62-55. Vols Michael Brooks and Tyrone Bea-man continued to star as replacements for Gary Carter and Ed Littleton, who were declared ineligible three weeks ago. The newcomers had 53 points and 22 assists in the two conference wins.
"Coaches don't have any magic to tell the players," said Georgia Coach Hugh Durham. "If they did, they'd tell them before the game." The Bulldogs' Dominique Wilkins didn't need coaching—or magic—in a 73-67 victory over Florida. He scored 26 points and in the closing seconds unveiled a 360-degree dunk. "I only do that when the game is won, not when it's on the line," he said. For the first time in 102 games Alabama veteran Eddie Phillips didn't start. No matter. Phillips came off the bench to score 21 points, get 12 rebounds and lead the Tide to a 71-53 defeat of Mississippi State.
Marquette got even for a loss to Southwestern Louisiana earlier this season in the Great Alaska shootout by winning a rematch in Milwaukee 80-67. Starting a possible crossfire of words, losing Coach Bobby Paschal said, "We beat them on a neutral floor in Alaska and they beat us on their home floor. I still feel we have the better basketball team."
DePaul Coach Ray Meyer wasn't pleased after his 1,000th game as a coach, a 71-69 victory over Dayton. With Terry Cummings in foul trouble, the Blue Demons didn't score a field goal in the last 5:08. "That was the worst game Terry ever played," said Meyer, warming up to a tirade. "It was our worst game of the year. We had so many opportunities to put them away and we didn't, so we deserved to lose. Dayton should have won in the last two minutes, but God smiled on me and they missed five straight free throws. We let Dayton control the offensive boards and just stood around hoping the ball would come to us by some magical force. We should have blown out Dayton in the first half, but Bernard Randolph, I guess, did not feel like playing defense." Nonetheless, Meyer got his 662nd win while joining Hank Iba (1,105), Adolph Rupp (1,064), Eddie Diddle (1,061) and Phog Allen (1,004) in the 1,000-game club.
Missouri is the Big Eight's leading proponent of equality. When the Tigers beat Colorado 72-50, Steve Stipanovich, Ricky Frazier, Marvin McCrary and Michael Walker all scored in double figures. "They have good chemistry," said Colorado Coach Tom Apke. "They play very effectively together, they do a lot of complicated things to make your job of playing them difficult, and they are superbly coached." Missouri Coach Norm Stewart admitted as much. "We're playing together real well," he said. "We're shooting 80% from the line. We're passing the ball real well. We've got a pretty good bench. If we can control the rebounding situation, that will be the key to our season."