Shaka Smart

Virginia Commonwealth reportedly moving to the A-10 in 2013

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Days after intra-conference foe George Mason affirmed that it would remain in the Colonial Athletic Association, Virginia Commonwealth is headed to the Atlantic 10, Brett McMurphy of is reporting.

According to McMurphy, an official announcement will come from the school this week.

Virginia Commonwealth joins Butler as the two newest members of the conference.

With these two additions, the A-10 has added teams that have combined for three Final Four appearances in the past three seasons.

The move is an attempt to fill in for the losses of Temple, which has moved to the Big East, and Charlotte, which has departed for Conference-USA.

VCU reportedly favored the move because the CAA is more prone to being a “one-bid” conference, whereas the Atlantic 10 has sent multiple teams to the NCAA tournament for each of the past five seasons.

As McMurphy points out, the CAA has had just four at-large bids into the tournament since 2000, while the Atlantic 10 had three just this past year.

Head coach Shaka Smart has led the Rams to success over the past three seasons and has increased VCU’s national brand in the process.

After winning the CBI championship in 2009-10, the Rams enjoyed a run to the Final Four in 2010-11, and came back this past season, making it to the Round of 32 of the NCAA tournament.

The Atlantic 10 was reportedly in talks with George Mason as well, but was only looking to add one more team, which ended with this news of VCU’s move.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.