Altered State of Mind

Remember way back when there were only two sports in Dallas: football and off-season football? Don't look now, helmet head, but Dallas is suddenly imitating a pretty decent Mecca of basketball.

The rise of roundball permeates all levels. Last weekend in Austin, Dallas-area high schools swept the three biggest classes at the boys state tournament. Plano, long considered a football factory, won its first 5A title. South Oak Cliff, led by McDonald's All-American Darrell Arthur, won its second consecutive 4A title. And Roosevelt took the 3A championship for its first trophy since 1972.

This weekend the NCAA Tournament's March Madness comes to town. Texas, one of the favorites to win the championship, is the showcase team in regional games Friday through Sunday at American Airlines Center. And in case you forgot, the Mavericks have the second-best record in the NBA at 49-14. Not bad for a city whose biggest basketball claim to fame was once a glorified pick-up game called Hoop It Up. --Richie Whitt

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