The Madness Behind the NCAA Final Four

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Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 4.14.31 PMWriter  /  Allie Nash

While March has been filled with nothing short of madness, April in Indianapolis will be filled with even more excitement as the Final Four takes place.

With the biggest college sporting event coming to town for the seventh time, Carmel resident and Vice President of Men’s Basketball Championships Dan Gavitt has been busy preparing.

Gavitt explained that the event takes about 100 NCAA employees and thousands of local volunteers to make the event successful. But with Indy also being home to the NCAA headquarters, he thinks that the organization takes great pride in hosting the event in their backyard.

“It’s a big deal to the NCAA membership,” he said. “This is the seventh time that Indianapolis has hosted the Final Four. It is an ideal location on so many different levels; it is centrally located in the United States in a state that just adores college basketball. Obviously it’s this downtown area that is just so convenient, so walkable, great restaurants, great cultural activities, bars and of course Lucas Oil Stadium being a spectacular facility. It is truly one of the favorite places of all the folks of the NCAA from all over the country that go to the Final Four on a regular basis.”

Downtown will have more than just basketball games going on. It will be like a weekend block party with March Madness Music Festival at White River State Park, Fan Fest at the Convention Center, a 5K and more. On Friday Lucas Oil Stadium will be open to watch the four teams practice the all-star game.

And while the games and big plays will be the main focus of the weekend, Gavitt also thinks that families can make great memories by being involved with the Final Four festivities.

“Well I mentioned this is the seventh time that Indianapolis will host the Final Four which seems like a lot,” said Gavitt. “But the last time it was here was 2010, and the next time it will be here will be 2021. So, while a lot of great basketball is played around here with NCAA Regionals and things on a regular basis, the Final Four is as special as it gets.

fanguidepicI remember my first Final Four in 1979 – I was 13 years old – and I am approaching 50 now, and I remember it like it was yesterday.

“I also remember my first Final Four here in Indianapolis was 1991 when Duke beat Kansas and Coach Krzyzewski won his first National Championship, and again, I remember it like it was yesterday. So, you know, you can’t put a price on memories. And these opportunities come by so infrequently, really in the big picture, I would just plead and encourage everyone in this area to not miss this opportunity to be a part of it. It will be another few years before it’s back.”

Watch our interview with Dan Gavitt, and check out the Offical NCAA Fan Guide that has all the details of when and where the fun will be happening.