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The DeSoto Eagles played in the 5A state basketball tournament last March in Austin. Their hotel was 50 miles away in Marble Falls, at the Horseshoe Bay Resort.

The Eagles lost in the semi-finals.

'What hurt us the most, I thought, was that we never went to a game before our game,' said DeSoto head coach Chris Dyer, who decided not to take his team to watch any of the Thursday night games because he was afraid his team would get back to their hotel too late. 'And that really bothered the kids, because a lot of them made comments about never seeing that many people in their lives.'

What's been widely known for the last month became official on Tuesday: The UIL high school state basketball tournament will be played in San Antonio in 2015 after playing in Austin since the first one in 1921.

'It's what you do,' said Duncanville girls head coach Cathy Self-Morgan, who has been going to the state tournament since she was in fifth grade. 'You always plan that first weekend in March (when the girls play), that second weekend in March (when the boys play).'

What ultimately shoved high school basketball out of the state capital was the annual South by Southwest music festival, which fell on the same weekend as the boys tournament.

'Fans have to be able to get to the city, stay in the city, and afford the way,' said UIL deputy director Dr. Jamey Harrison. 'And when that became difficult because of the conflict with SXSW, it got to the point where we had to consider alternatives.'

'We had parents who were paying over $500 a night... parents that were having to stay in Waco,' said Dyer about his team's experience in Austin a few months ago.

Moving the tournament won't just affect the teams that will play there; there are a lot of basketball families in Texas who have been going to Austin every year to watch the state tournament, regardless of whether their school is there or not.

The Duncanville Pantherettes have been there three years in a row, and 23 times total.

'I'm dealing with it, I'm adjusting,' said Self-Morgan. 'Dealing with that extra two hours, dealing with not being in Austin, Texas. But it's the state tournament. To get there that's every coach's dream.'

Dallas and Houston were also considered, but neither arena could give up two weeks. That's also why the AT&T Center where the San Antonio Spurs play did not work. The UIL's options diminished pretty quickly.

'Yes they did,' said Harrison. 'Yes they did.'

So the 2015 state tournament will be played in the Alamodome in San Antonio. Beyond that, there's nothing set in stone.

E-mail tmadden@wfaa.com

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