NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four Action Comes to New Orleans park
For the fifth time in history, the city of New Orleans will serve as the site for the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four. This year's event features powerhouse basketball programs Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville and Ohio State. The Allstate Sugar Bowl is one of the co-hosts for the event.
The basketball action kicks off on Saturday with top-seeded Kentucky and No. 4 seed Louisville clashing at 5:09 p.m. (Central) on the hardwood floor that has been installed in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Following that battle between state rivals, a pair of two-seeds, Kansas and Ohio State, will meet to determine the other participant in the national championship game.
In addition to the top-notch basketball action, there will be a host of Final Four events that offer fun to the whole family. Bracket Town is the annual fan festival held in conjunction with the Final Four, this year's will be held at the Convention Center and begins on Friday. The Big Dance concert series is a string of free concerts at Woldenerg Park on the riverfront. Headlining bands this year are KISS (Friday night), the Black Keys (Saturday afternoon) and Jimmy Buffet (Sunday evening).
Information on all of the NCAA events is available by visiting the official NCAA website.
The previous four Final Fours in New Orleans have all been among the most memorable in the event's grand history. In 1982, Dean Smith captured his first National Championship as a freshman named Michael Jordan buried the game-winning shot to upend Georgetown. In 1987, it was Bobby Knight and Indiana defeating Syracuse on a baseline jumper by Keith Smart. Smith was back again in 1993, as his North Carolina team defeated the Fab Five from Michigan. And in 2003, Jim Boeheim made up for his 1987 loss as freshman Carmelo Anthony led Syracuse to a win over Kansas.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has a rich history with the sport of basketball, as well as football. Dating back as far as 1936, the Sugar Bowl has sponsored basketball events in conjunction with the annual football classic. In addition, the Bowl has been a sponsor for multiple local events in the sport.
Following this year's Final Four in New Orleans, Atlanta will host 2013, Dallas will host 2014, Indianapolis will host 2015 and Houston collected the 2016 event.
The NCAA awarded the 2013 Women's Final Four to New Orleans as well, but the two bids are unrelated.