Kentucky Coach Adolph Rupp, his pride bruised by an early loss to Florida State, was beaming again after his unpredictable Wildcats used their foul-shooting Skill (28 for 34) to upset North Carolina 70-65. But it wasn't easy, even after Ned Jennings' rebounding and shooting put Kentucky out in front by five points midway in the second half. The Tar Heels surged back on the sharpshooting of Doug Moe and York Larese but they couldn't quite overcome the Wildcats' superiority from the foul line. While North Carolina faltered, things were popping in the rest of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Wake Forest, with big (6 foot 8, 240 pounds) Len Chappell over his early-season aches and throwing his weight around underneath the backboards, surprised North Carolina State 68-67 as hustling little Billy Packer calmly dropped in six free throws in the last 2� minutes. Then, after surviving a scare by Virginia to win 88-82, the Deacons caught unbeaten Maryland with its famed defenses down and whipped the Terps 72-60 to take first place. Duke, displaying remarkable versatility, outran South Carolina 107-79 and brushed aside Clemson's zone for a 75-58 triumph.
Undefeated Louisville, beginning to look like a colossus in talent as well as in front-line size, had the time of its life in the Bluegrass Tournament. Combining unaccustomed defense with a superb running game, the Cardinals restrained Georgia Tech's Roger Kaiser, took their cue from John Turner's deadly outside shooting and beat the Jackets 74-65. Next night Western Kentucky (an 86-72 winner over Utah State) tried to slow down Louisville but again Turner pulled the Cardinals through, this time with 25 points, to an 86-71 victory. However, Coach Peck Hickman, even after his team whipped Georgetown (Ky.) 90-63 for its eighth straight, was wary: "We've got a lot of teams waiting to ambush us."
Even as Auburn's SEC champions bustled past Virginia Tech 76-73 and Alabama 74-62 in the Birmingham Classic (see page 30), contender Georgia Tech dropped three in a row, to Louisville, Utah State 67-62 and North Carolina State 82-76. But Auburn may not lack for competition. Vanderbilt beat Alabama 77-61 and Rice 70-44, and could be the team to challenge the Tigers.
This section has seldom looked better. St. John's, St. Bonaventure, Providence and Seton Hall were unbeaten, while Villa-nova and NYU were beginning to look like the teams they were supposed to be.
St. John's took a while to get going, finally overwhelmed Ohio U. 78-50 as Tony Jackson scored 27 points. St. Bonaventure, after beating Xavier 85-75 at Cincinnati, tore apart Morehead State's zone with 41 points by graceful Tom Stith and trounced the Kentuckians 106-88. Providence, finding it tougher to win, squeezed by Santa Clara 65-59 and San Francisco 54-47 in the West, then managed to hold off Canisius 53-50. Boston College, its bubble burst by Brown 76-70, was no match for Seton Hall swifties Art Hicks and Hank Gunter and lost to the Setonians 105-87. Villanova, with Hubie White pumping in a total of 85 points, ran over Princeton 75-46, Fordham 92-54 and Niagara 83-74. NYU was more tenacious against Holy Cross. Sophomore Tom Boose held the Crusaders' Jack Foley to five field goals, scored 25 points himself and the Violets won 79-65.
But the week's biggest victory was scored by slick Temple. While playmaker Bruce Drysdale baffled Kentucky with one-handed sets, jumpers and infiltrating drives for 25 points, the small but exceptionally deft Owls effectively jammed up the Wildcat attack with a sliding man-to-man and beat them 66-58.
Cincinnati's reign in the Missouri Valley was just about ended. St. Louis, the first conference team to get at the Bearcats, allowed them only 32 shots, frustrated them with ball control and finally beat them 57-40, for the first time in four years. And unbeaten Bradley, still waiting for its chance, ran away from Northern Michigan 105-77, Nevada 95-59 and Wisconsin 88-66 on the hot shooting of Chet Walker and sophomore Tim Robinson.