Al McGuire yelled at soph Bernard Toone so harshly during halftime of Saturday's game against Cincinnati that Toone left the locker room. But McGuire's tactics somehow have salvaged a potentially disastrous season and now he stands an excellent chance of getting to the final rounds.

Standing in his way now is Kansas State, which took advantage of injuries to Missouri to win the Big Eight title. The Wildcats are quick, small and talkative, especially freshman forward Curtis Redding and veteran guard Mike Evans.

Since McGuire is the best talker of them all, Kansas State is reduced to trying to stop Butch Lee and Bo Ellis. Ellis must give Lee more help than he has at times this season to keep the Warriors from being knocked off. Wake Forest (21.7) vs. Southern Illinois (22-6) (WDCA-TV-20, 10:30 p.m.)

Wake Forest already did its part for Atlantic Coast Conference prestige by knocking off Arkansas Saturday. Now it may be the Deacons' turn to be startled by a lesser-known opponent.

In guard Mike Glenn, a long-range shooter who makes 55 per cent of his attempts, Southern Illinois has a player who can pull off upsets singlehandedly. Glenn had 35 against undisciplined Arizona in the first round and he wasn't even gunning.

At least Wake won't be giving away much height. The Deacons -- as they showed against Arkansas --are particularly tough when they don't have to worry about center Larry Harrison's defensive matchup. But they can't keep falling far behind in the opening half like they have been and still expect to come back.