Kitchel's performance followed a 34-point night in a 73-60 victory over Illinois. In three of the four games Kitchel has started against the Illini, he scored 40, 34 and 22 points.
Free throws kept Minnesota in second place in the conference. The Gophers needed a pair of foul shots with one second remaining to pull out a 53-52 victory at Purdue, and sank nine of 10 in the final 1:45 to hold off Wisconsin 71-60, after the Badgers had closed to within three with 2:38 to go.
Kentucky dealt Alabama its third straight Southeastern Conference defeat, 72-62, and moved into a tie for second in the conference with LSU, a game behind Tennessee. Earlier, the Tigers had defeated Alabama 73-68 in Baton Rouge, while Kentucky avenged an earlier loss to Mississippi, beating the Rebels 56-49 in Lexington. It was the 1,300th victory for Kentucky, winningest school in the land. Star Wildcat Center Sam Bowie, recuperating from a leg injury, officially announced he will sit out this season as a red shirt.
"I'd rather be lucky than good anytime," Missouri Coach Norm Stewart said as he bid Kansas' Allen Field House adieu for another year. Actually, in Mizzou's 42-41 victory over the Jayhawks and an 89-82 win at Oklahoma State, good fortune and proficiency were both involved. In one stretch, Missouri failed to score for 8:39 against the Jayhawks, but its swarming defense held Kansas to just three points in that span, and it prevented a final shot in the closing seconds.
Tiger Forward Ricky Frazier made all eight of his field-goal attempts and scored 10 of the Tigers' 12—yes, 12—second-half points. The Jayhawks scored a mere 13. Frazier finished with 20 and got 18 in the Tigers' defeat of Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
When was the last time a team went an entire game without attempting a single free throw? It happened in Kansas State's 68-58 defeat at Oklahoma. Although K-State had the edge in field goals (29-27), the Sooners sank 14 of 20 from the line. Chuck Barnett and David Little, the Big Eight's top two scorers, scored 20 points apiece for Oklahoma. Kansas State rebounded to beat Iowa State at Ames 58-49. Oh yes, K-State was 14 of 19 from the line.
In celebration of a recent win over Wichita State, Tulsa Coach Nolan Richardson showed up for the game with Illinois State in black tie and tails. But after Tulsa went into the locker room tied with the Redbirds 28-28, off came the tails and back on went the familiar sport jacket and polka-dot shirt. Tulsa eventually subdued the Redbirds 78-67 in overtime, then beat Creighton 70-63.
After topping TCU 79-69 in Fayetteville, Arkansas dropped a pair of Southwest Conference road games. Houston beat the Hogs 55-53 as Rob Williams and Clyde Drexler scored 14 points apiece and Jellybean Olajuwon had 13; Baylor topped them 56-55 in overtime as the Bears' Terry Teagle got 36 all by himself.
Metro Conference leader Memphis State got 24 points and 18 rebounds from Keith Lee (page 48) in a 75-64 non-conference win over Ball State, and held on to beat Florida State 62-60.