With its season ending, college basketball—which was played by 438 teams in 59 conferences this year, and by more than 300 independent schools as well—has once more approached the point where it is incomprehensible to the average customer. As usual it is holding not one but three national tournaments, two of which have been preceded by innumerable elimination games from one end of the country to the other. The least important of the national tournaments (but the biggest in point of teams involved) is already over and East Texas State, as a result, has won the championship of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The two biggest are currently in operation and will end this week—the National Collegiate AA tournament in Kansas City (where the NAIA tournament was also played) and the National Invitation Tournament in New York at Madison Square Garden. San Francisco and La Salle—which must play Colorado and Iowa respectively in semifinals—are favored in the NCAA tournament. Duquesne is favored to win the NIT, but at the weekend Louisville, Cincinnati, Niagara, Dayton, St. Louis, Holy Cross and St. Francis were still in the running. In all the tournaments the best of teams miss a championship shot if they suffer just one loss in the play-offs. The three tournament winners do not meet, and none of them will necessarily be the team picked as the best of the year by the AP sportswriters' poll. (Final standing: 1) San Francisco, 2) Kentucky—already eliminated in the NCAA—and 3) La Salle.) In 1955, furthermore, a new note will be added: the U.S.S.R. (have a care, Ivan) will later send a team to the U.S. to prove that the steppes of Russia, rather than the campuses of the U.S., breed the best basketball players of all.
The ladies strike back
Like the corner saloon, the golf course has long since lost its security as a male refuge. The Manchester (N.H.) board of recreation forgot this fact a while back and passed a resolution: henceforth, women and children could no longer use the municipally owned Derryfield golf course on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The board was not long in hearing from insulted woman hood.
Mrs. Mildred Sullivan (handicap 20), Miss Mildred Allen ("about 25") and Miss Ruth Jennings (35) went to court, claiming the order deprived them of their constitutional rights. The other day came the ruling of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, and the court—a distinguished body of five men, no women—magisterially sided with the town board. In its most cutting passage the court ruled that the board was merely acting "to protect the playing public as a whole. Women are separately classified with children, not because of sex, but because of a manner of playing golf."
Somehow, peace did not descend. On the contrary.
At this point, Colonel Charles G.Y. Normand has appeared on the scene with what looks like a happy solution. Col. Normand, who is chairman of the town recreation board, was ill and inactive when the ban was imposed. Now he is back on the job and has passed the word: the ban is rescinded. In fact, said Col. Normand, the board changed its mind even before the court handed down its decision, but they hadn't gotten around to telling anyone.
Milo of Toccoa
When word flashed around the weight-lifting world a couple of weeks ago that Paul Anderson, the Hercules of Toccoa, Ga., had established himself as the world's strongest man—he had hefted 1,100 pounds in three lifts at the National Capital championships—Anderson was described, as usual, as a "dairy farmer."
This identification rises very clearly from the legend that, as a young boy, Paul lifted a calf every day until he was able to lift the full-grown cow. But:
"I never lived on a farm in my life," Anderson says mildly. "I never lifted a cow, either, though I dare say I could."