Cincinnati is at it again; two straight titles and not a sign of a respite for rivals. Virginia tried a zone defense, but Ron Bonham scattered it with 30 points and the Bearcats won 91-42. Miami of Ohio attempted a slower approach, and only lost 58-36. George Washington decided on a fast break, and wound up losing 86-59. Cincinnati's Missouri Valley rivals played hopefully on. St. Louis lost 84-59 to Ohio State, then beat Kansas State 59-57. Bradley was an 87-81 winner over Butler and Wichita, after a 79-69 loss to Colorado, beat Purdue 79-59.
Big Ten coaches who thought they were rid of Ohio State when the Buckeyes lost Jerry Lucas had better take another look. The fresh young Bucks, led by Center Gary Bradds, beat St. Louis and Virginia (70-46), then took on highly ranked West Virginia. When the Mountaineers made the mistake of going to a zone defense in the second half the alert Buckeyes rebounded better, began shooting and won looking strong, 76-69. Illinois and Iowa stayed unbeaten and Minnesota surprised Kansas State 73-62. But Indiana and Wisconsin were beaten.
Colorado, the Big Eight champion, was off to a good start, but the Buffs had a watchful eye on Oklahoma. Under their new coach, Bob Stevens, the once deliberate Sooners were running hard, outsprinting SMU 96-83 and St. John's 84-65. Among the independents, Loyola drubbed North Dakota State 110-56, Marquette beat Wake Forest 87-72 and Texas Western 77-65, Notre Dame outscored Michigan State 92-85, St. Francis (Pa.) 101-70 and Valparaiso 102-90. The top three:
1. CINCINNATI (4-0)
2. OHIO STATE (4-0)
3. LOYOLA (2-0)
Kentucky's Adolph Rupp was beginning to wonder about his Wildcats. First, they lost their home opener, an almost unheard-of absurdity, and last Saturday they had a frantic struggle against inexperienced Temple at Philadelphia. Cotton Nash, hobbling around on a severely bruised heel, could manage only three field goals and the Owls, led by Gary Kasmer's 19 points, stayed with the Wildcats until the last 82 seconds. Then rookie Randy Embry plunked in a jump shot, Scotty Baesler converted two free throws and Kentucky was in, 56-52.
Although the season was barely a week old, some of the usual eastern leaders were already soundly beaten and nobody looked very forbidding. St. John's, Providence, Holy Cross and Manhattan—upset by St. Peter's, 65-52—all lost. St. Joseph's was still winning, over Hofstra 70-64 and Albright 75-61, but the hustling Hawks may soon have some competition for their No. 1 spot. NYU, down to eight players after Happy Hairston was declared ineligible, still had Barry Kramer and he scored 42 points to lead the Violets past Georgetown 85-65. Seton Hall's Nick Werkman was up to his old scoring ways. He pumped in 37 and 42 points as his team beat St. Anselm's 90-70 and Loyola of Baltimore 75-57. Duquesne, even without Willie Somerset, who is lost for the season, was good enough to beat Kent State 62-50 and St. Francis (Pa.) 67-59. Princeton also looked menacing enough to challenge St. Joe's. Sophomore Bill Bradley (see page 48) lived up to his notices as the Tigers overpowered Villanova 68-53 and Army 71-54. The top three:
1. ST. JOSEPH'S (3-0)
2. TEMPLE (2-1)
3. PRINCETON (3-0)