There’s no denying it, Dayton is a basketball mecca! March is almost here and that means basketball madness returns to Dayton. In 2023, Dayton will proudly welcome and host the NCAA® First Four® Tournament (March 14 & 15), and the Ohio High School Athletic Association Girls (March 9-11) and Boys (March 17-19) Basketball State Tournaments, as well as community events, coordinated by The Big Hoopla, surrounding the NCAA® First Four® games.
Read on to learn more about all these exciting events and how you can be part of the Madness!
NCAA® First Four®
The Dayton region is the Epicenter of College Basketball, and fans from around the country know that THE ROAD STARTS HERE™! March Madness is alive and well in Dayton – we look forward to welcoming the NCAA® First Four® Tournament back to UD Arena this year AND to hosting the tournament through 2026!
There will be two games in each session (night), on March 14 & 15, and the winners of each game will advance on the road to the Final Four®. We won’t know the schedule of who’s playing in the First Four® Tournament until NCAA® Selection Sunday, on March 12, but we can guarantee the games will played in front of packed houses at UD Arena, where the energy is always electric!
Get your game tickets now, because the First Four® will sell out!
Check out the latest 2023 NCAA TOURNAMENT BRACKETOLOGY at espn.com
The Big Hoopla
In Dayton, college basketball holds a special place in our hearts; get ready for the The Big Hoopla to return to Dayton in 2023. Since 2012, The Big Hoopla has showcased Dayton’s collaborative spirit, basketball unity and affinity for our military heroes serving locally and around the world. The First Four® NCAA® Basketball Tournament presents a tremendous opportunity to come together as a community, and as a country, to celebrate the great things that can be accomplished with teamwork, dedication, and a shared goal. Join in on the fun by participating in one or all three of these planned community activities.
1. Hoopla 4 Miler
Here in Dayton, it’s about more than just basketball, it’s four full days of activities and the first of all those events is the Big Hoopla 4 Miler. On Selection Sunday, March 12, the day begins with a 4-mile run that starts and finishes at the heart of basketball, UD Arena. The course offers skyline views, crosses the Great Miami River, and loops past Carillon Historical Park.
All participants receive a long-sleeve tech tee, a custom finisher medal, free race photos, tons of post-race food. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m., and the race starts at 9 a.m. The top three overall male and female runners will receive a CASH PRIZE, and the top three overall male and female masters (40+), as well as the top three finishers in each age group, receive two (2) tickets to the NCAA First Four® at UD Arena on March 14 & 15, 2023. Follow this link to register online for the race.
2. Hoopla STEM Challenge
Ready to learn and have fun – all for free?! Do your kids wanna shoot some hoops? On Sunday, March 12, bring your family to participate in a FREE basketball ‘hot shot’ and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education contest with prizes awarded for each shot made! The event is open to boys and girls grades K–8 and will take place at the Dayton Convention Center.
The event ties together the excitement and passion for college basketball to the power of STEM education. Regional and national partners will be on-site to engage students with hands-on science, technology, engineering and math demonstrations, as well as two fun, one-hour shows with award-winning science entertainer Eric Energy at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Registration is free, and more information will be posted on the event site.
OHSAA Basketball State Tournaments
As if the NCAA® First Four® Tournament Tournament wasn’t exciting enough, Dayton and UD Arena will also be hosting the Ohio High School Athletic Association Girls and Boys Basketball State Tournaments in March! The state’s high school basketball elite will battle it out on the hallowed floor of UD Arena to see who will be named OHSAA Girls & Boys State Basketball Champion! Don’t miss the action.
1. 2022 OHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament March 9-11, University of Dayton Arena
Thursday, March 9 (State Semifinals): DII – 11 a.m. & 1 p.m., DIV – 6 & 8 p.m.
Friday, March 10 (State Semifinals): DIII – 11 a.m. & 1 p.m., DI – 6 & 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 11 (State Championships): DII – 10:45 a.m., DIV – 2 p.m., DIII – 5:15 p.m., DI – 8:30 p.m.
Girls state tournament all-session tickets are already on sale and can be purchased at the OHSAA ticketing website.
Girls basketball all-session reserved tickets are $112 each, while premium seat tickets are $144 each. Single-session tickets for the girls basketball state tournament go on sale at noon on Sunday, March 5, Single-session general admission tickets are $16 for adults, $12 for students and $20 for premium seats.
2. 2022 OHSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament March 17-19, University of Dayton Arena
Friday, March 17 (State Semifinals): DII – 10:45 a.m. & 2 p.m., DIV – 5:15 & 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 18 (State Semifinals): DIII – 10:45 a.m. & 2 p.m., DI – 5:15 & 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 19 (State Championships): DII – 10:45 a.m., DIV – 2 p.m., DII – 5:15 p.m., DI – 8:30 p.m.
Boys state tournament all-session tickets are already on sale and may be purchased at the OHSAA ticketing website.
Boys basketball all-session reserved tickets are $168 each, while premium all-session tickets are $216 each. Tickets for the Center Court Club, which include lounge access between games, concession vouchers and seats very near the court are $500 each. Single-session tickets for the Boys Basketball State Tournament go on sale at noon on Sunday, March 12. Single-session adult tickets are $16 for adults, $12 for students and $20 for premium seats.
All ticket prices include parking fees. The University of Dayton Arena is a cashless facility. Tailgating and overnight parking are not permitted.
This post originally appeared on the Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau website and is reprinted here with permission.