SMU and Gonzaga close to agreement for home-and-home beginning this season

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A marquee non-conference matchup is close to being set in 2014, as SMU and Gonzaga are negotiating the terms of a home-and-home series beginning in the 2014-2015 season.

This came according to SMU Athletics Director Rick Hart, who tweeted the status of the proposed matchups on Tuesday afternoon.

In the College Basketball Talk Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25, SMU is ranked No. 10 while Gonzaga is listed at No. 16. The potential clash between the Mustangs and Bulldogs will feature two of the better back courts in the nation in SMU’s Nic Moore and incoming freshman Emmanuel Mudiay going up against the experienced guard tandem of Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr.

Gonzaga finished in the Round of 32 after receiving a No. 8 seed. The Zags struggled to win a quality non-conference game last season, dropping contests to Memphis, Kansas State and Dayton. The loss to the Flyers in the opening round of the Maui Invitational put the Bulldogs in the wrong side of the bracket, leaving them to go head-to-head with Division II Chaminade and Cal instead of games against Baylor and possibly Syracuse.

A quality non-conference opponent would help bolster SMU’s resume. On Selection Sunday, the Mustangs saw their bubble burst as the selection committee punished the Ponies for a weak schedule.

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.