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Coach Dick Versace's "sixth sense" and some superb foul shooting gave Bradley an 82-79 triumph over Tulsa—and the MVC title. Versace, playing a hunch that Voise Winters would snap out of the shooting slump that had kept him out of the starting lineup since Feb. 1, started the freshman forward. Winters, who led the nation's high-schoolers last season with a 40.3-point scoring average for Gage Park in Chicago, got hot, perking up the Braves with 18 points. Bradley finished off the second-place Golden Hurricane by converting nine of 11 free throws in overtime. It was the last game ever at one of the game's legendary snake pits—Robertson Memorial Field House, the Braves' home court since it was built in 1949 by putting together two World War II airplane hangars. Tulsa won its other two games, 85-67 over Southern Illinois as Bruce Vanley and Greg Stewart combined for 40 points and 18 rebounds, and 91-70 over Oral Roberts as Guard Paul Pressey had 19 points, seven assists and a school-record eight steals.
Kansas State, too, had a versatile performer—Forward Ed Nealy, who got 17 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals and sank a pair of foul shots with five seconds left as the Wildcats won 59-58 at Missouri.
Memphis State was pestered into 21 turnovers by Louisville's zone press and wound up losing 65-61 despite Keith Lee's 20 points and 10 rebounds. But the Tigers then beat Tulane 64-62 and St. Louis 94-72 to clinch first place in the Metro race. Lee had 17 points in each game and, against the Billikens, added 15 rebounds and five blocks.
"Their defense was their offense," Texas Tech Coach Gerald Myers said after a 67-61 loss at Arkansas. "Their pressure on our guards took us out of our offense and gave them so many points on breakaways." That win. plus a 54-53 nail-biter at SMU, gave the Razorbacks their fifth SWC title in six years. Runner-up Houston won 75-69 at Rice and outlasted Texas A&M 96-93.
Maryland took Virginia to overtime for the second time this season when Herman Veal's bounce-around-the-rim shot from near the key fell through the net at the buzzer to tie the score 44-44. This time, however, the final outcome was happier for the Terrapins. Despite his heroics, Veal wasn't the meat of Maryland's attack. It was Adrian Branch who bolstered the offense the most, scoring 29 points, including a foul-line jumper with one second left in the extra period that beat the Cavaliers 47-46. Ralph Sampson, who was guarded by Veal and Mark Fothergill, had only eight points and five rebounds as Virginia's victory streak was ended at 15 games. Earlier, Sampson had carried the Cavs past Wake Forest 84-66 with 22 points and 20 rebounds. The Deacons, with the aid of Jim Johnstone's three-point play with 45 seconds to go, then won 50-46 at North Carolina State.
With James Worthy scoring 20 points in each game. North Carolina knocked off Georgia Tech 77-54 and Duke 84-66. That enabled the Tar Heels to finish the regular season tied with Virginia for the ACC title.
In a week filled with upsets—12 of SI's Top 20 lost—West Virginia had its 23-game winning streak broken at Rutgers 74-64 as Kevin Black tossed in 18 points for the Scarlet Knights. The Mountaineers had begun the week by defeating Pitt 82-77 behind Greg Jones's 22 points.
Its January jitters forgotten, Georgetown again won impressively. The Hoyas avenged January losses to Providence and Connecticut by beating both 60-42. Pat Ewing of Georgetown had 22 points against the Friars and nine blocked shots in the two games, giving him a total of 105 for the season. Villanova, however, locked up first place in the Big East by stopping Connecticut 67-63 in overtime and then winning 54-53 at Providence. Cutting it close wasn't new for the Wildcats, who this season have won six times by three points or fewer.