DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Early Tuesday afternoon, before the games began, fans came out to watch the teams practice before they hit the court for real.
The University of Dayton has hosted the First Four since its inception in 2011, and UD has also played host to the most NCAA tournament games in history.
Fans like Donna Palmatary say Dayton is the perfect venue to kick off the tournament each year because of how hospitable and helpful the city is.
“I think we support whoever comes here,” Palmatary said. “Everyone’s friendly, you know, people applaud. You know, I think that’s a great thing to see for our city, there are people like that here in Dayton.”
Former Dayton Public Schools basketball coach Myron Lane said it speaks volumes that the facility not only hosts the First Four, but other major tournaments like the state Final Four, and that UD’s facilities bring people from across the country together to celebrate basketball.
“The University of Dayton are hosting not only the First Four, but also you look at the groom’s high school tournament being held here. You look at the boys’ high school tournament turn here,” Lane said.
“I think that speaks volumes about the University of Dayton in the city of Dayton that people are willing to travel come a good distance to come down to see good basketball.”
With less than an hour away from the first tip off of the night, 2 NEWS Sports Reporter Joey DeBerardino will have more on the results of the games.