Marcus Smart

Monday’s Pregame Shootaround: March Madness kicks off with the Patriot League tourney

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GAME OF THE DAY: Kansas State at Oklahoma State, 9:00 p.m.

The Wildcats pay a visit to Oklahoma State tonight. The Pokes have come back strong after losing seven straight games, with Saturday’s win over Kansas pushing them onto the right side of the bubble. A loss at home to a Kansas State team that doesn’t beat anyone on the road would be a killer, however.

THE OTHER GAME OF THE DAY: N.C. State at Pittsburgh, 9:00 p.m.

Barring a miracle down the stretch of the season, N.C. State is already on the wrong side of the bubble. They pay a visit to Pitt on Monday night, a team in desperate need of a win to avoid falling closer to the bubble’s cutline.


1) March Madness begins tonight with the first round of the Patriot League tournament.

2) The only ranked team taking the court tonight is No. 14 North Carolina, who will be hosting Notre Dame. The Tar Heels are strictly playing for seeding at this point. The Irish? They’re playing for seeding in the NIT.

3) The biggest bubble game of the night will be Xavier’s trip to New Jersey to take on Seton Hall. 

4) Keep an eye on North Carolina-Central, who is 23-5 and 13-1 in the MEAC with a win at N.C. State this season.

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.