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Selection Sunday and the return of the First Four for the NCAA men's basketball tournament to Dayton is just days away.
While Dayton won't know which eight teams it will host Tuesday and Wednesday, March 18-19, until the brackets are revealed Sunday, the First Four Local Organizing Committee has prepared a number of events this weekend in anticipation of these four games.
"The Big Hoopla is the Dayton Region's annual tipoff celebration to March Madness," said Matt Farrell, a member of the local committee. "The passion and energy surrounding college basketball in Dayton is unmatched, and The Big Hoopla events further demonstrate our community's dedication."
Tickets for the First Four games range in price from $50 to $120 and are available at Ticketmaster.com.
The excitement kicks off with three events Sunday. They are:
- Third annual Hoopla Challenge: A free competition for students in grades K-8 that's expected to draw 600 kids at Chaminade Julienne High School, 505 Ludlow St., in Dayton. There will be free pizza and T-shirts. More than $1,000 in iTunes gift cards, several hundred tickets to the First Four, and 15 iPad Minis will be up for grabs in a hot-shot contest. Check-in is at noon, and the event kicks off at 1 p.m. Free but advance registration is requested.
- Hoopla STEM Education Event: Also at the same time and location, kids can explore STEM exhibits, displays and demonstrations. Dayton Power & Light and the U.S. Air Force will have some of the featured exhibits. Free but advance registration is requested.
- Third annual Hoopla Four Miler: This running event will be held at the University of Dayton River Campus, 1700 S. Patterson Blvd., in Dayton. Check in at 9 a.m., race starts at 10 a.m. Key Sports will provide electronic timing for this race. Cost is $30 or $25 for children 12 and younger. Register at daytonhoopla.com/fourmiler.
- Another part of Hoopla, on the days of the games, is the Hoopla Central VIP Lounge. Sponsors, NCAA representatives, visitors and event participants are invited to a high-end pregame sports lounge located one mile from UD Arena. Free transportation to the games is provided.
For more information or to register for the events, visit daytonhoopla.com.