"After six games in 14 days, over 10,000 miles and some 28,000 hamburgers and 1,000 pounds of pineapple, it sure will be good to get back to Columbia," said Missouri Coach Norm Stewart. His Tigers lost at UCLA and split two contests in Hawaii, then gobbled up three wins at the Big Eight tournament. They advanced to the finale by beating Oklahoma State 81-79 and thrashing pretournament favorite Kansas State 86-66 before 16,853, the largest-ever basketball crowd—college or pro—in Kansas City. In the wrap-up, Missouri downed Kansas 79-69 as MVP Guard Willie Smith tossed in 27 points.
Other upsets were pulled off by West Texas State, Houston and LIU. With 1:50 left and State trailing 74-70 at Louisville, a few happy Cardinal fans began to leave Freedom Hall. They missed seeing Reggie Ramey send the game into overtime by sinking a jumper with seven seconds to go. And they did not see the Buffaloes win 84-78 in overtime. Houston took its 13th straight Bluebonnet Classic by surprising San Francisco 94-73. The Cougars' astonishingly easy victory was built around torrid shooting (61.8%) and teamwork (28 assists). LIU upended Centenary 80-78 for the All-College title, forcing 30 turnovers with a full-court press.
1. CINCINNATI (9-2)
2. MISSOURI (10-2)
Gimpy legs did not deter Wake Forest, broken noses did not stop Rutgers and slowdown tactics did not halt Maryland—all of them won tournaments to remain undefeated. Just as it did a year ago, Wake Forest awoke during the Big Four skirmish at Greensboro, N.C., knocking two teams from the unbeaten list: North Carolina 95-83 and North Carolina State 93-78. And the Deacons (10-0) did it even though Guard Skip Brown, their top scorer, hurt his leg and missed almost half of the first game and all of the second. Taking up the slack was another backcourt man, Jerry Schellenberg. Schellenberg, a 12.2 scorer with back and hamstring problems going into the tourney, earned MVP honors by pouring in 55 points.
In the opening round of the Poinsettia Classic two Rutgers subs suffered broken noses during a 96-73 romp over The Citadel. Then, in the battle for all the poinsettias, Rutgers fractured Georgia Tech 94-87. Stetson later had to tip its hat to the Scarlet Knights, who won 91-70.
Maryland captured its own invitational tournament by drubbing Seton Hall 104-69 and waiting out Princeton 66-59. Speaking of the Tigers' lullaby efforts, tournament MVP John Lucas of the Terps said, "They just about put us to sleep. We have massive egos on our club, and we all want to run and shoot." Those egos got a boost during a 111-88 rampage against LIU. Princeton, which had made it to the finals against Maryland by tranquilizing previously undefeated Alabama 61-59, later won its Ivy League opener against Perm. The Quakers, who had been scoring 76 points a game, had only 14 at halftime and lost 63-39.
Playing before the largest college basketball crowd (19,694) in Madison Square Garden history, Indiana held off St. John's 76-69 for the Holiday Festival title. MVP Scott May had 29 points and held Redman Beaver Smith, a 16.4 scorer, to six.
1. MARYLAND (10-0)
2. RUTGERS (10-0)