Mar 31, 2023 - Sports

Your guide to Final Four weekend in Houston

Kris Jenkins of the Villanova Wildcats shoots a game-winning three-pointer with the clock at 0.5.

Kris Jenkins' memorable buzzer-beater happened the last time Houston hosted the Final Four in 2016. Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It's finally here.

Driving the news: Four men's college basketball teams — Miami, San Diego State, UConn and Florida Atlantic — will square off inside NRG Stadium tomorrow for a chance to play in Monday's NCAA championship game.

  • No Texas teams, namely the Houston Cougars, are in the Final Four.

State of play: Thousands of spectators are expected to flock to downtown's Discovery Green and the south side's NRG Park for festivities, from Megan Thee Stallion's Friday night concert to the games inside the stadium.

  • Parking might be a nightmare downtown and near NRG Park. Consider taking the MetroRail, which is free all weekend, or biking to the venues.

What to do: Free festivities start Friday morning inside NRG Stadium with the TIRR Memorial Hermann Hotwheels youth wheelchair basketball scrimmage at 10am.

  • From 11am to 3pm, you can catch the four teams practicing on the court.
  • The AT&T Block Party featuring Grammy-winning Megan Thee Stallion starts at 4pm. The free tickets were gone within hours, but there are other things to do inside the nearby George R. Brown Convention Center at the Final Four Fan Fest.

On Saturday, runners will participate in the Men's Final Four 4-Miler, starting at 8:30am downtown.

  • Then at Discovery Green, Lil Nas X will headline the Move by Coca-Cola concert starting at 3pm. Free tickets are still available.
  • San Diego State will play Florida Atlantic starting at 5:09pm, and Miami plays UConn at 7:49pm.

On Sunday, the Men's Final Four Dribble will host a parade of dribblers ages 18 and under who will go from Hermann Square to the Final Four Fan Fest starting at 1pm.

  • Tim McGraw and Keith Urban headline the Capital One JamFest starting at 2:30pm. Free tickets are still available.

Wrapping up the weekend, the championship game will be played at 8:20pm Monday at NRG Stadium.

The intrigue: With all the events, Houston's public safety officials say they are well prepared.

  • Houston Police have hundreds of officers working the events, according to Police Chief Troy Finner.

What they're saying: "We never go over the numbers, but hundreds, seen and unseen," Finner said at a press conference this week. "You're going to see marked units, and you're not going to see some plainclothes officers. We've got it covered."

Plus: Paramedics, rescue crews, fire department inspectors and first aid professionals will also be standing by, according to Fire Chief Samuel Peña.

If you go: Text "mffsafety" to 888-777 to receive event-specific safety information.


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