Mar 27, 2023 - Sports

Houston's Final Four preparations coming together

A high-angle shot of workers constructing the NCAA men's basketball tournament Final Four court inside NRG Stadium

The court traveled 1,677 miles from Amasa, Michigan, to Houston. Photo: Jay R. Jordan/Axios

Officials are setting the stage inside NRG Stadium for the NCAA Final Four and championship games next weekend — which won't feature the Houston Cougars after a heartbreaking loss to the Miami Hurricanes on Friday.

Driving the news: Media got a sneak peek Friday as workers installed the court and additional seating inside the stadium, which is normally outfitted for the Texans and most recently hosted the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

By the numbers: The court, manufactured by Michigan-based Connor Sports, is made of sustainably grown wood and weighs 56,000 pounds.

  • Workers spent four hours last Friday morning piecing together the 381 panels.

The intrigue: Schools that win the NCAA championship have the option to purchase the floor, as Villanova did after winning when Houston last hosted the Final Four in 2016, per the New York Times.

  • In Villanova's case, the court cost about $100,000 and was purchased by an anonymous donor.
  • Part of the court where Kris Jenkins took his famous game-winning buzzer-beater, which includes marks from his shoes, is on display at a cafe on campus.
  • The Times reports that 10 out of the last 11 champions have purchased the floor.
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