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Who would have believed it? The Missouri Valley race was barely under way and already Cincinnati was almost out of it. First BRADLEY, with great shooting from Joe Strawder (33 points) and Levern Tart (24 points), whipped the Bearcats 87-77 for their first MVC loss ever (after 41 straight) at home. Then DRAKE broke through Cincy's usually reliable slowdown tactics and beat them in overtime 76-66 at Des Moines. Said Cincinnati's troubled Ed Jucker sadly, "Everybody is sky-high for us. They can't wait to meet us."
Michigan's high standing in the Big Ten (see page 26) was no surprise, but OKLAHOMA STATE'S lofty stature in the Big Eight was. The cautious Cowboys put Jim King on Kansas State's Willie Murrell and King held him to a mere six points. Oklahoma State won 77-58.
With Loyola idle, Chicagoans were beaming over undefeated DE PAUL. The hot-rod-ding Blue Demons slowed down a bit for Dayton, gave the ball to skillful dribbler Emmette Bryant for a late stall and beat the Flyers 89-83. XAVIER, too, was going great guns—an 80-79 win over Louisville—until VILLANOVA came to town. Xavier thought it had the game won when the Cats lost Wally Jones on fouls, but Bill Melchionni led Villanova to a 90-88 victory.
Creighton got another big effort from Paul Silas, the country's leading rebounder, and trounced New Mexico State 99-73. DETROIT'S Dick Dzik, the No. 2 rebounder last week, could not match 47 points by Notre Dame's Larry Sheffield, but he got 26 and the Titans won 114-104.
THE TOP THREE:
It was an uncomfortable week for the East's best teams. Villanova managed to survive, but St. Bonaventure and La Salle were beaten, CANISIUS, an in-and-outer all season, held St. Bonaventure's Fred Crawford to 14 points, setting the stage for victory. Then four late foul shots by Frank Swiatek and John Brennan beat the Bonnies 78-75.