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The referees were not whistling Dixie at the Cable Car Classic in San Francisco, but South Carolina still won. During the final 2:51 of their first-round game against Santa Clara, the Gamecocks hit on 18 of 19 foul shots. Coach Frank McGuire called Santa Clara "the most physical team I've seen in 500 games." Things were less physical in the championship game, won by the Gamecocks 67-59 from California, which missed two-thirds of its shots.
UCLA overwhelmed two more weak opponents, Iowa State 110-81 and Texas A&M 117-53. "They are tremendous," said A&M Coach Shelby Metcalf. "I haven't seen anything like it, ever." With Ron Riley amassing 40 points and 34 rebounds, USC beat Loyola 85-65 and Utah 79-67.
"Playing the Aggies is like trying to win a train wreck," said a New Mexico assistant after 33 turnovers and a 94-79 loss to New Mexico State. Then the Aggies faced BYU at the new Marriott Center, which they may have mistaken for the world's largest bedroom instead of a gym. After speeding to a nine-point lead, the Aggies went into a state of semi-somnambulance, allowed the Cougars all sorts of fast breaks and lost 90-80 as BYU's Kresimir Cosic scored 33 points. Cosic added 23 more points in a 96-68 fast-break romp past Creighton.
North Carolina's Tar Heels came to Princeton in their blue blazers, then had the blue blazes beaten out of them 89-73. "It was the worst defense we have ever played," said Carolina Coach Dean Smith. That was largely because Ted Manakas and Brian Taylor found gaps in all the zone variations tried by the Tar Heels. George Karl and Steve Previs, Carolina's hustle-bustle guards, were outmaneuvered and outscored (37-13) by the Tiger guards. Taylor, suffering from a cold, left the court for the infirmary, but returned in time to make Villanova sick. He hit on 14 of 16 shots and scored 33 points as the Tigers won 82-68.
St. Joseph's upset Providence 72-65 as Pat McFarland put in 23 points while Mike Bantom dueled fellow 6'9" Center Marvin Barnes. Earlier, Barnes had set a Friar record with 34 rebounds in a 76-58 victory against Buffalo State. La Salle lost to Niagara 71-70 and to Tulsa 80-77. That left the Explorers 0-4—their worst start ever.
Penn's Quakers felt their oats, disposing of Manhattan 87-66 as Bobby Morse had 33 points. Dartmouth surprised Harvard 86-68 and Brown put down Yale 72-68. With five transfers now eligible, Rhode Island beat three teams: Boston University 88-73, New Hampshire 80-73 and Brown 102-84.