Mike Aresco

Report: Big East schools may vote to dissolve league


With all of the football schools joining into ever-larger lumps of meat, it always seemed like a time would com when at least one hoops-only league would flat-out disappear. I thought it would be a mid-major, like the CAA or Horizon, but it’s one of the BCS leagues, gutted by realignment, that may go down first.

According to the Providence Journal, the Big East may be at a tipping point for dissolution after Rutgers left to join the Big Ten.

Representatives of some of those [remaining] seven schools said this week that the tipping point would be reached if either Connecticut or Louisville heads to another league. Such a loss would be infinitely more important to the basketball schools than Rutgers leaving, because it would further erode an already badly damaged basketball core.

Losing a UConn or Louisville would also give the basketball schools the opportunity to engineer an unprecedented power play and vote to dissolve the league. According to the Big East’s bylaws, the conference can be dissolved by a two-thirds vote of all members. The seven basketball schools, which include Providence College, would own that voting advantage over three all-sports members (Cincinnati, South Florida and either UConn or Louisville). That voting edge would disappear in July, when new members Central Florida, Houston, Memphis and SMU come onboard.

Why commit suicide instead of being killed? Because the basketball schools that remain would actually have some power in such a scenario. They could be the driving force in the growing “nationwide hoops league” movement. The Big East basketball schools could take the lead, and to some measure, dictate terms of such an arrangement if they are free of any conference affiliation.

We’ll keep an eye on this situation, and update you throughout the holiday week.

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

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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.