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While Virginia was finding out how nerve-rattling life at the top of the college basketball charts can be (page 14), third-ranked North Carolina was having a similarly tough time with gritty Maryland. It took a pair of Matt Doherty free throws with three seconds left to ensure Carolina's 59-56 victory in Chapel Hill. When North Carolina jumped out to an early 6-0 lead, Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell shifted his troops into a three-man zone with a man-to-man alignment on James Worthy and Sam Perkins and the Heels were in a ball game.
Playing without Center Charles Pittman, probably out for the season with a fractured fifth metacarpal bone in his left foot, the Terps bottled up Worthy and Perkins and led, 48-45, with 6:00 left. Trouble was, "they just left Matt, Mike [Jordan] and Jimmy [Black] open," according to Worthy, "and that's fine with us." Doherty got 18 points to lead Carolina, Jordan added 12, and Black stole the ball and went in for an uncontested layup with 4:58 left, which gave the Tar Heels the lead for good. On Sunday, Carolina beat Georgia 66-57, giving Coach Dean Smith his 20th victory for the 12th consecutive year, an NCAA record at one school.
After defeating Clemson 94-76, Wake Forest Coach Carl Tacy said, "This type of game was a welcome relief from what we've had recently, for us and for the fans." An 86-71 victory over Duke, however, was a bit more taxing. Fifty-two fouls were called, resulting in 67 free throws. The Deacons hit 30 of 35 from the line, while the Blue Devils converted 21 of 32.
West Virginia clinched the Eastern 8 title and extended the nation's longest winning streak to 20 by whipping Duquesne 90-75 and St. Bonaventure 49-43. The Dukes out-rebounded the Mountaineers 47-27, but West Virginia forced 27 turnovers. Junior Forward Russel Todd scored on a three-point play with 24 seconds left and Greg Jones added two free throws 10 seconds later to clinch the victory for the Mounties.
In crushing Big East Conference rival Syracuse 96-79 and outmanned Southern University of Baton Rouge 84-48 in Washington, Georgetown showed signs of beginning one of its second-half rushes. Freshman Pat Ewing had his finest game yet against Syracuse: 22 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks and constant intimidation. Senior Eric (Sleepy) Floyd took scoring honors with 27, while sophomore Point Guard Gene Smith had 10 points, five steals and two assists to key a 12-minute 37-12 run that gave the Hoyas a 71-51 lead with 13:16 remaining.
Bernard Randolph tallied the bucket that gave DePaul a 59-58 victory over Evansville in the Horizon, but the hoop was long forgotten even before the game was over. "I didn't even realize it until you told me," Randolph said later. Little wonder. Dolph's 20-footer came with 5:52 to play—for the last points either team would score. Two nights later, not even Terry Cummings' 33-point, 18-rebound performance in a 98-80 win over Loyola soothed DePaul Coach Ray Meyer, livid at the three Big Ten officials who called 47 personal fouls and 20 walking violations.
After Iowa trounced Northwestern 62-49 in Iowa City, Hawkeye Forward Mark Gannon wanted to dispel the rumor that Iowa was afraid to play Indiana in Bloomington. "Hell," he said, "they should be afraid of us. We've beaten them three straight and we're leading the league." Obviously, Indiana wasn't scared of anyone. Thanks to Ted Rachel's 33 points, including his team's first 13 of the second half, the Hoosiers whipped the Hawks 73-58.