By CHUCK WOODLING
Lawrence Journal World
TULSA. Okla.- If you
wrote a book about it, you might entitle it, "Tommie Smith and His
Electrifying Back Door Play."
That old- crowd-pleaser
that features the spring-legged Smith leaping high in the air to spear a
Tom Kivisto pass and flip it into the hoop put Kansas into the NCAA
Midwest Regional Basketball finals.
The shot came with 1:24
remaining here Thursday night and proved to be the clincher in Kansas'
nail-biting 55-54 triumph over Creighton in the semifinals at Oral
Roberts' Mabee Center.
Trailing 54-53 after
Gene Harmon's jumper at 1:35. Kivisto brought the ball down court,
hesitated hardly an instant and lobbed the pass which the alert Smith
converted into the victory.
Fans in Lawrence and
around the Big Eight have been watching the move all season. It pops up
once or twice a game.
'There's usually no set
time for it." Smith explained after the game. "We just use it when we
need a quick basket."
The Jayhawks attempt the
play only when the opponent is in a man-to-man defense.
Smith shakes his
defender, Kivisto spots him and bingo!
"The coaches told me not
to do it unless Tommie was wide open," Kivisto explained. "I wasn't
worried. I think we've done it enough and I have confidence in Tommie's
jumping ability and quickness. It's hard to stay with anyone as quick as
At the time Smith made
the bucket, no one expected it to be the last score of the game, but it
turned out that way. Creighton's Harmon missed a jumper with 44 seconds
left and Kansas rebounded.
In the following
moments, the Blue Jays never touched the ball again. They forced a jump
ball at :22, but Roger Morningstar controlled the tip to Norm Cook, who
was fouled at :20 but didn't get to shoot a free throw. KU wasn't in the
So the Jayhawks threw
the ball in from out of bounds and dribbled around until Kivisto was
fouled at :07. But KU still wasn't eligible for charity shooting. This
time, the Jayhawks simply threw the ball in and ran out the clock.
"We thought we could
take the ball away without fouling them," said Creighton coach Eddie
Sutton. "Except for Kivisto, we thought they weren't that good a ball
handling club. But they handled our 'man' defense pretty well."
Handling the ball was
about the only thing the Jayhawks did do well. They were out rebounded
35-31 and Creighton shot a better percentage (49 per cent to 40.3). But
Kansas was guilty of only seven turnovers compared to 16 for the Omaha
That had to be the
difference. Composure saved Big Eight champion Kansas on a night in
which it didn't play very well.
"I think we were tight,"
KU coach Ted Owens said. "You can usually tell that when you're a half
step behind on defense, which we were in the first half. We usually get
back on defense but they got more fast break baskets on us than any
other team this year."
Kansas' youth, more than
anything, probably contributed to the players' mechanical actions.
"We were terribly
sluggish," Owens added. "But Creighton is a good team. They were every
bit as good as I thought they would be."
Biggest feather in
Creighton's bonnet this season was a surprising victory over Marquette,
snapping an 88-game win streak in Milwaukee. Sutton doesn't think KU
compares with the Warriors, though.
"Kansas isn't as good as
Marquette," Sutton pointed out. "I think we've played two or three other
teams better than Kansas, but don't get me wrong. They're a good
basketball team. They created problems for us offensively. You certainly
have to give them credit."
Okla. (AP) Reserve forward Tommy Smith hit two clutch field goals in the
last 28 seconds of overtime as disciplined Kansas rallied past Oral
Roberts University, 93-90, to capture the NCAA Midwest Regional
basketball playoffs here Saturday afternoon (video).
Big Eight champion Jayhawks came back from a nine-point deficit in the
final four minutes on the outside shooting of Roger Morningstar and Dale
Greenlee. Super soph, Rick Suttle, got the bucket that tied the game
81-81 and sent it into overtime.
reached the finals by edging Creighton, 55-54. Creighton took third
place with an 80-71 victory over Louisville.
Kansas' victory cut short ORU's meteor-like rise in bigtime college
basketball. The Titans have competed in the NCAA only for three years,
and made it to the NIT in 1972 and 1973. Kansas is a perennial
of 30-foot jumpers by Morningstar and Greenlee preceded Suttle's vital
basket. The Jayhawks had a chance to win it in the final minute, but
guard Tom Kivisto, considered one of the Big Eight's better ball
handlers, stepped on the center line and the Titans took possession with
35 seconds left.
ORU couldn't score. The lead changed back and forth in overtime until
Greenlee sank two free throws with 1:25 left, giving the Jayhawks an
89-86 edge. Al Boswell's field goal for the Titans was followed by
Smith's key basket with 1:06 left, putting the Jayhawks back on top,
guard Sam McCants got a tip-in with 28 seconds left, but Smith hit a
short jumper for the final tally.
run-and-shoot Titans had battled back from a 15-point deficit early in
the first half to pull within one at 45-44 at intermission.
Kansas, which shot a sizzling 59 per cent in the first half, turned cold
and ORU took command behind the shooting of McCants. McCants, a 6-foot-
3 jumping jack from Pensacola, Fla., who scored 30 points in ORU's 96-93
defeat of Louisville Friday, had 24 points against the Jayhawks. Al
Boswell had 18 and Greg McDougald had 13.
Knight, playing with four fouls for much of the game, paced Kansas with
19 points, Greenlee had 18 and Morningstar had 16, mostly on long range
GREENSBORO, N.C. (UPI)- "I was real pleased to win
the Class B championship," quipped a happy but self-contained Al McGuire
after his Marquette Warriors had routed Kansas, 64-57, Saturday to gain
the NCAA basketball finals.
He had told newsmen before the game that the
publicity attending the second game semifinal matchup between defending
champion UCLA and current No. 1 North Carolina State had overshadowed
the Marquette-Kansas game and, he was quick to add, deservedly so.
Marquette's Warriors floated past Kansas with nine
straight points early in the second half, four of them on fast-break
baskets by Lloyd Walton, and charged into the NCAA championship game
with a 64-51 victory over the Jayhawks Saturday.
In the title game for the first lime in their
history, the Warriors will play for the national basketball championship
Monday night against the winner of Saturday's second game at the
Greensboro Coliseum between top-ranked North Carolina State and No. 2
Marquette's irrepressible defense broke open the
opener, which was a close game until the Warriors got hot. Trailing
29-26 with about two minutes gone in the second half, Marquette forward
Earl Tatum triggered the Warriors' nine point flurry with a field goal
The pesty Warriors then drove Kansas crazy, forcing
a number of turnovers. Walton, Marquette's standout sophomore guard,
took long passes after two of the steals and scored baskets as the
Warriors moved to a 35-29 advantage with 14 minutes remaining in the
nationally-televised game (video).
With Marcus Washington scoring two field goals, the
Warriors then put the game away with 10 more points in the next six
minutes to take their largest lead of the game until that point at 45-35
with 8:40 to go.
The Warriors later improved that margin to 15
points, but for all purposes, the game was long over. Kansas led 24-23
at the half before folding under the Marquette heat (video).
The Warriors, who had never made the final four
before this game, before 15,761 roaring fans, won their 26th game in 30
starts this season. Marquette's golden center, Maurice Lucas, led the
Warriors with 18 points. Washington added 16 and Tatum had 14
Reserve Rick Suttle scored 19 points for Kansas, 13
of them in the second half. The Jayhawks’ record dropped to 23-6.
McQuire, asked what he had talked about during the
halftime intermission, replied he had discussed "A couple of things I
"With the type of ballplayers I have, I can't afford
the luxury of not driving," McGuire noted.
"We went after each other very hard, the players and
I, at halftime. I thought our first half play was very inadequate."
"It seemed like it was going to blow up in there,"
said Lucas. "There could've been a bomb."
McGuire said he is willing to "tolerate anything"
with his team as long as it wins. "But I let them know that I'm the
dictator," he added. "When it gets down to driving the bus, I'm the
N. C. (AP)- UCLA’s blase Bruins took third place in the National
Collegiate Athletic Association Championship basketball playoffs Monday
night, trimming underprivileged Kansas, 78-61 on a 26-3 scoring
explosion triggered by Pete Trgovich shortly after the start of the
North Carolina State's top ranked
Wolfpack met No. 3 Marquette for the national
championship before a roaring sellout
crowd of nearly 16,000 at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Playing for most of the game without
their ultra-talented starters, the Bruins woke up right after after a
sluggish first half, when Kansas held a 38-31 lead.
Norman Cook scored a field for Kansas
at the start of the second half to give the Jayhawks a 40-31 lead, but
that was the last shot from the floor that they would make in a while.
Trgovich, one of nine reserves used by
UCLA Coach John Wooden, connected on a pair of fast break baskets and
the Bruins were off to a flying start.
All-American Keith Wilkes, palying his
last game for the Bruins, scored four points and Dave
Myers threw in four more to shoot UCLA into a never-headed
43-41 lead with 15 minutes left.
Then, Bill Walton closed out his UCLA
career with two lightning layups as the Bruins ran away to a 53-43 lead
with 11 minutes remaining.
Walton, a controversial figure when he
earlier indicated he did not want to play in the consolation game, then
was pulled and received a 30-second standing ovation from the Coliseum
Three minutes after Walton sat down,
UCLA’s other All-American, Keith Wilkes, retired lo another standing
Wilkes wound up with 12 points in the
20 minutes he played.
Walton, not displaying his usual
spark, played the same amount of time and scored six points while
grabbing eight rebounds. Trgovich played 30 minutes—the most time of any
of the UCLA players—and scored a team-high 14 points forthe Bruins, who
closed out their season with a 26-4 record.
Dale Greenlee, whose 15 points powered
the Jayhawks into their seven-point halftime lead, led the losers with
17 points. Danny Knight added 12 points
for Kansas, 23-7.
N. C. (AP)- Lifted by hometown idol David Thompson, irrepressible North
Carolina State won its first national collegiate basketball title by
throttling Marquette 76-64 Monday night in the National Collegiate
Athletic Association championship finals.
The rousing victory
before 15,742 fans at the Greensboro Coliseum climaxed an "impossible
dream" season for the Wolfpack.
On probation last
year for recruiting irregularities involving the fabulous Thompson,
North Carolina State cherished a crack at the national championship long
held by UCLA.
Losing their only
game in two years to the seemingly indestructible Bruins, North Carolina
State came back to whip UCLA in Saturday's semifinals and came into
Monday night's finals charged sky high.
Bruins, double overtime victims of the Wolfpack 80-77 in Saturday's
semifinal, cruised to a colorless 78-61 victory over Kansas in the
third-place game earlier.
Whether soaring to
score on his "alley-oop" shots or leaping high to intimidate Marquette's
shooters, Thompson was the nemesis of the Warriors and the darling of
the Wolfpack-oriented crowd.
State's dazzling All-American forward scored 21 points, many of them on
his patented play of leaping over the basket, grabbing a teammate's lob
pass and dropping the ball in for two points. Each time Thompson made
his eyecatching moves, it virtually brought the whole crowd to its feet.
Tom Burleson, who
played much of his career in the shadow of UCLA's Bill Walton, was also a tower of
strength for the Wolfpack.
Burleson- a menacing
7-foot-4 figure- clogged the area around the basket and constantly
disciplined Marquette's smaller team.
Burleson, a string
bean center who made The Associated Press' All-America third team,
scored 14 points for the winners.
the North Carolina State triumph by clipping the basket netting with a
scissors while sitting on the shoulders of a teammate when the final
The Wolfpack then
completed the traditional ceremony by hoisting little Monte Towe up at
the other end of the court. Towe snipped off half of the basket cords,
then North Carolina State Coach Norman Sloan completed the job.
With their fans
screaming, "Go Pack, Go," North Carolina State scored 10 of the game's
first 12 points and it looked like their pre-game 10 ½ point edge was
But the Warriors
battled back behind team leader Maurice Lucas and made game of it.
Lucas scored 11 of his team leading 21 points with eight minutes gone in
the game to give the underdogs a 19-18 lead.
The teams were
evenly matched before Thompson, voted the Most Valuable Player in the
tournament, took charge of the rhythm of the game.
Thompson scored four
points as North Carolina State, helped by two technical fouls on
Marquette Coach Al McGuire, reeled off 10 points in 53 seconds.
The killing streak
started after a basket by Marcus Washington gave Marquette a 28-27 lead
with 3:50 left in the half. Washington was called for charging on the
play, and McGuire drew a technical after protesting the call.
both ends of a one-and-one free throw situation and threw in the
technical foul that gave North Carolina State a 30-28 lead with 2:48
Burleson knifed in
for two lightning layups, Phil Spence scored a field goal with 1:55 left
in the half, and Thompson converted another technical called on the
volatile McGuire, and North Carolina State led 37-28.
A field goal by Towe
later gave the favorites a 39-30 halftime lead. Towe finished with 16 points- the
same as backcourt mate Morris Rivers.
grabbed seven rebounds along with his team-leading point total, gave the
crowd more thrills at the start of the second half.
Thompson soared high for a field goal and later tossed in another foul
shot to get the Wolfpack moving in the second half.
Then Burleson barged
in for a layup and Towe delivered a long shot from the outside to give
North Carolina State a game-breaking 45-30 lead at the start of the
second half and sew up the Wolfpack's 30th victory in 31 games this
It was also North
Carolina State's 57th triumph in the 58 games over a two-year span.
Ellis, the only freshman among the starters, contributed 12 points and
11 rebounds for Marquette, which lost its fifth game in 31 starts this
year. Lucas collected a game-high 13 rebounds and Washington added 11
points to the Marquette attack.
blocked seven shots and grabbed 11 rebounds, contributed to Marquette's
poor field goal shooting of 36 percent. The Wolfpack connected on 56
percent from the field.