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Next college hoops season will begin and end in Texas

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We know the road to the 2014 national championship will end in Dallas (Arlington, whatevs) next season. Now we also know that the title chase will begin there as well.

ESPN’s Jason King is reporting that eight teams will meet at American Airlines Center on November 8, headlined by a potential Top 25 matchup between Baylor and Colorado.

Each matchup in the four-game season-opening event has local ties. Texas and LSU will meet, as will Southern Methodist and Texas Christian. The Dallas event had to nip slightly north of the state line to get some regional interest in the remaining game, which will pit Anthony Grant’s Alabama Crimson Tide against the Oklahoma Sooners.

The event may struggle to stand out in the football-mad Lone Star State, but it is intended to build enthusiasm for the season, and could be the start of similar efforts in future seasons.

“We want this to serve as the tipoff to the season,” bd Global president Brooks Downing told earlier this month. “The plan is to generate a lot of excitement and hype about college basketball in the city that’s hosting the Final Four.”

If the November event is a success, Downing said bd Global likely will stage something similar each fall in the city slated to host the Final Four. The 2015 Final Four will be in Indianapolis before shifting to Houston in 2016.

Baylor is coming off of an NIT title and will no doubt hope to start an NCAA title run in their home state.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

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.