13 Must-See Final Four Weekend Events

University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale is all decked out for the Final Four this weekend.
University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale is all decked out for the Final Four this weekend. Benjamin Leatherman

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Westgate Final Four Experience
Saturday, April 1, to Monday, April 3
Westgate Entertainment District

Fans can watch as ESPN will broadcast SportsCenter and other coverage via live remotes at Westgate’s expansive Fountain Park daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during Final Four weekend.

Coca-Cola Music
Saturday, April 1
Margaret T. Hance Park

The second day of the March Madness Music Festival will feature sets by such big-name bands and musicians as dance music kings The Chainsmokers, indie rockers Grouplove, pop duo Capital Cities, and soul singer Leon Bridges. The music goes from 2 to 10 p.m. Admission is free.

click to enlarge Life-size March Madness brackets in downtown Phoenix. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Life-size March Madness brackets in downtown Phoenix.
Benjamin Leatherman
Final Four Dribble
Sunday, April 2
Downtown Phoenix

Dribbling a basketball consistently while walking is no easy feat. It takes takes a certain amount of both hand-eye coordination and concentration, two skills that the youths who participate in the “Ready, Set, Dribble!” event will need in abundance. More than 3,200 local boys and girls will each bounce official NCAA basketballs while walking from Heritage Square to the Final Four Fan Fest at the Phoenix Convention Center. And while registration is closed for the event, the public is invited to watch the event and follow the bouncing balls across downtown. Start time is 11 a.m.

Phoenix Suns vs. Houston Rockets
Sunday, April 2
Talking Stick Resort Arena

Want to partake in even more b-ball action this weekend? The Purple and Orange Gang, who currently boast a lineup that's younger than most of the teams in this year’s Sweet 16, will host the Houston Rockets during the annual “College Hoops Night,” which will include giveaways of swag to the first 5,000 fans. The game starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $28 to $178.

Scottsdale Final Three Tournament
Sunday, April 2
Bottled Blonde & Livewire

Ballers will battle for supremacy during this daylong streetball tournament taking place along Indian Plaza outside of Bottled Blonde and Livewire in Scottsdale’s entertainment district. Teams of three players each will face off in one of three different divisions (men 21 to 40 years old, men 40 and up, and coed). At stake is $3,000 in cash prizes, as well as plenty of bragging rights. The tournament is open to players 21 and over and runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free. Trash-talking is optional.

Capital One JamFest
Sunday, April 2
Margaret T. Hance Park

The March Madness Music Festival wraps up with performances by some of the biggest names on its lineup, including Aerosmith, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and Blink 182. Folk rock act Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats will provide the opening set. The jams run from 3 to 10 p.m. Admission is free.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four
Saturday, April 1, and Monday, April 3
University of Phoenix Stadium

Basically, the centerpiece of the whole weekend. The semifinal matchups between Gonzaga/South Carolina and Oregon/North Carolina will take place at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively on Saturday, April 1. The winners will face off at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 3, for the championship. May the best team win. Believe it or not, tickets are available for all three games, albeit via resellers for anywhere from $125 to $5,000 apiece.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.