Villanova, Iowa do final Battle 4 Atlantis on NBC Sports Network at 8:30 p.m.

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The teams in the Battle 4 Atlantis just wouldn’t cooperate with us.

We wanted to see UTEP play USC, to see Andy Enfield square off with Tim Floyd. Alas, the Trojans got worked over in the first round, leaving us with nothing but rabid press conferences quotes. We wanted to see No. 23 Iowa get their shot at No. 2 Kansas, but Villanova decided to step in and spoil that.

The good news?

Championship Saturday should be plenty entertaining, and you can watch it all on the NBC Sports Network or stream it online with NBC Sports Live Extra.

I don’t think it’s crazy to see that, as of this very moment, Villanova and Iowa are two of the most intriguing teams in the country.

Iowa has been a team that we’ve been telling you to keep an eye on since the preseason, and nothing that they’ve done through the first three weeks of the season has given us reason to change that opinion. In fact, they’re probably exceeded expectations to this point. But their only truly notable win came against a Xavier team that played the final minutes and overtime without star point guard Semaj Christon and followed that up by getting worked over by Tennessee.

After watching Villanova beat up on Kansas for 40 minutes, it’s pretty obvious that the Wildcats will be Iowa’s toughest challenge to date.

But just how good is Villanova?

Is this a group that can actually challenge the likes of Marquette, Creighton and Georgetown in the Big East, or was Friday’s win the same as last season, when Villanova beat Louisville, Syracuse and Georgetown?

We’ll find out tomorrow, so tune in.

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.