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WATCH: Exclusive Interviews at the 2009 NCAA Final Four Press Conference

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Local News / Sports

Sunday, 1 March, 2009 12:26 PM

Countdown Begins to NCAA® March Madness®

Just 30 days remain until the first game of the 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship

Photo credit: www.ncaamarchmadness2009.com

 

DETROIT -- NCAA March Madness begins with the start of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, in just 30 days. This year’s tournament will culminate with the 2009 NCAA Men’s Final Four® weekend in Detroit, which begins on April 3 and ends with the championship game on April 6.

Hosting the NCAA Men’s Final Four is a historic first for Detroit. To celebrate the occasion, the Detroit Local Organizing Committee (DLOC) and the NCAA are planning a wide range of fun and exciting activities for area residents and visitors to enjoy along with several community events and youth outreach programs.

“The passion and competitive spirit displayed by student-athletes, coaches, and fans are what give the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship the name March Madness,” said Bill Ryan, executive director of the DLOC. “Metro Detroiters and visitors are in for a treat as they get to witness the best that college basketball has to offer.”

Though the Final Four will crown the men’s national basketball champion, Ryan is quick to reinforce the fact that metro Detroiters are the real winners during the tournament’s finale.

“We are hoping the theme of free concerts, community events and more resonates with area residents and visitors,” Ryan said. “There will be a weekend of community-focused activities that will offer something for everyone.”

In addition to the championship games, the weekend features:

  • Final Four Friday® – an opportunity to see the Final Four teams practice on the Final Four floor along with the Hershey’s College All-Star Game and the NABC Senior Knockout Challenge, all for no admission fee at Ford Field
  • Hoop City® refreshed by Coca-Cola® – four days of interactive family fun at Cobo Center
  • The Big Dance® – free outdoor concerts at The Detroit Riverfront (just east of the Renaissance Center) featuring national and local bands during the AT&T Block Party®, Big Dance Saturday and My Coke Fest®
  • The Road to the Final Four® 5K – a run/walk along the riverfront in downtown Detroit
  • YES® Clinics hydrated by vitaminwater® revive – free sport and life skills instruction for kids ages 10 - 16 years old
  • NCAA® Final Four® Dribble – a free youth dribble through the streets of downtown Detroit to Hoop City
  • NCAA Final Four Sports Career and College Expo – Designed to inform, educate and enlighten high school and college students on athletics & non-athletics sports career options
  • Middle School Madness™ – Middle School Madness™ – sportsmanship-themed
    essay and poster contest
  • The United States Basketball Writers Association annual breakfast, where the Player and Coach of the Year will be honored at the Detroit Athletic Club
  • Final Four Legacy Program, which will establish four early learning and literacy centers in Detroit
  • Final Four Legacy Program Book Drive – the NCAA and DLOC will request early reader book donations during many events surrounding the Final Four, specifically during Final Four Friday, to support the efforts of the Legacy Program

Lots of other exciting events will take place throughout the weekend – details can be found at NCAA.com/finalfour.

About the NCAA

The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletics opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student- athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. For more information, visit www.ncaa.org and www.ncaa.com.

The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official Corporate Champions- AT&T, Coca-Cola and Pontiac-and the following elite companies as official Corporate Partners- Enterprise, Hershey’s, The Hartford, Lowe's, Sheraton and State Farm.

NCAA, Final Four, and YES are trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

About UDM

The University of Detroit Mercy is Michigan’s largest private Catholic University, with approximately 100 majors and programs in 60 academic fields. Sponsored by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, the University has campuses located in downtown and northwest Detroit. UDM is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities and the largest of 17 Mercy institutions of higher education in the United States.

Source: NCAA Final Four

 

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