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As the '59-60 season rolled toward the mid-term exam break, the East had two of the nation's four major unbeaten teams—and both came from Philadelphia. Villanova, continuing to sparkle with Sophomore Hubie White in the lineup, ran over Duquesne 87-65 and Muhlenberg 74-46 to run its string to nine, while Dudey Moore's LaSalle veterans beat Canisius 82-68, Duquesne 68-65 for eight in a row. Temple also looked good, outscored Pitt 82-74, Lafayette 82-70.
St. Joseph's, perhaps the best team in the Philadelphia area, was not so fortunate. Fresh from a satisfying 82-77 win over St. John's, the Hawks couldn't handle Seton Hall, lost 89-88 when sophomores Art Hicks and Hank Gunter scored 48 points between them, controlled both boards.
The chase was on in the Ivy League, and Dartmouth, back in its own class, began to look as good as it was expected to be. Thriving on Chuck Kaufman's outside pops and Gary Vandeweghe's corner shooting, the Indians trounced Cornell 77-59, threw up a tenacious zone defense to hold off an improved Columbia team 84-78. But the Big Green may well cast a wary eye at Brown, which eased past Penn 63-62, Princeton 79-61.
The Big Ten title may have been decided when big, rambunctious Ohio State won a 96-95 cliffhanger from Indiana. Larry Siegfried's short jump shot in the closing seconds was the margin. The Hoosiers, upset earlier by Northwestern 61-57, managed to contain State's Jerry Lucas but became singularly ineffective against Ohio's zone press. At week's end, preseason co-favorite Indiana moved deeper into the Big Ten cellar. Michigan State beat Michigan easily 89-58, and Purdue drubbed Wisconsin 99-69 to share the lead with the Buckeyes.
Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson was running up against the usual trick defenses, but college basketball's most talented scorer turned feeder, passed often enough to lead the Bearcats safely past Wichita 76-69 and Tulsa 83-50. Bradley had its own troubles with Tulsa, was forced into a full-court press before winning 71-58, then edged Wichita 71-70 while St. Louis was beating Houston 76-46, North Texas State 75-65.