Fun Fact: UD Arena has hosted more NCAA® Tournaments than any other venue in the nation!

There's no denying it, Dayton is a basketball mecca! March is here and that means basketball madness returns to Dayton. In 2023, Dayton will proudly welcome and host the NCAA® First Four® Tournament (March 14 & 15), the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Girls Basketball State Tournament (March 9-11) and the OHSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament (March 17-19), as well as community events coordinated by The Big Hoopla and held in conjunction with the NCAA® First Four® games.

Read on to learn more about all these exciting events and how you can be part of March Madness in Dayton!

NCAA®​ First Four®

The Dayton region is the Epicenter of College Basketball, and fans from around the country know that THE ROAD STARTS HERE™! March Madness is alive and well in Dayton - we look forward to welcoming the NCAA® First Four® Tournament back to UD Arena this year AND to hosting the tournament through 2026!

There will be two games in each session (night), on March 14 & 15, and the winners of each game will advance on the road to the Final Four®. We can guarantee the games will played in front of packed houses at UD Arena, where the energy is always electric!

Tuesday, March 14
Texas A&M Corpus Christi vs SE Missouri St, 6:40 p.m.
Mississippi State vs Pitt, 9:10 p.m.

Wednesday, March 15
Texas Southern vs Fairleigh Dickinson, 6:40 p.m.
Arizona State vs Nevada, 9:10 p.m.

Get your game tickets now, because the First Four® tournament will sell out!

The Big Hoopla


In Dayton, college basketball holds a special place in our hearts; get ready for the The Big Hoopla to return to Dayton in 2023. Since 2012, The Big Hoopla has showcased Dayton’s collaborative spirit, basketball unity and affinity for our military heroes serving locally and around the world. The First Four® NCAA® Basketball Tournament presents a tremendous opportunity to come together as a community, and as a country, to celebrate the great things that can be accomplished with teamwork, dedication, and a shared goal.  Join in on the fun by participating in these community activities.

Hoopla 4 Miler

Hoopla 4 Miler

Here in Dayton, it's about more than just basketball, it’s four full days of activities and the first of all those events is the Big Hoopla 4 Miler. On Selection Sunday, March 12, the day begins with a 4-mile run that starts and finishes at the heart of basketball, UD Arena. The course offers skyline views, crosses the Great Miami River, and loops past Carillon Historical Park.

All participants receive a long-sleeve tech tee, a custom finisher medal, free race photos, tons of post-race food. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m., and the race starts at 9 a.m. The top three overall male and female runners will receive a CASH PRIZE, and the top three overall male and female masters (40+), as well as the top three finishers in each age group, receive two (2) tickets to the NCAA First Four® at UD Arena on March 14 & 15, 2023. Register online for the race.

Hoopla STEM Challenge

Hoopla STEM Challenge

Ready to learn and have fun - all for free?!  Do your kids wanna shoot some hoops? On Sunday, March 12, bring your family to participate in a FREE basketball ‘hot shot’ and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education contest with prizes awarded for each shot made! The event is open to boys and girls grades K–8 and will take place at the Dayton Convention Center.

The event ties together the excitement and passion for college basketball to the power of STEM education. Regional and national partners will be on-site to engage students with hands-on science, technology, engineering and math demonstrations, as well as two fun, one-hour shows with award-winning science entertainer Eric Energy at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Registration is free, and more information will be posted on the event site.

OHSAA Basketball State Tournaments


As if the NCAA® First Four® Tournament Tournament wasn't exciting enough, Dayton and UD Arena will also host the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Girls and Boys Basketball State Tournaments in March! The state's high school basketball elite will battle it out on the hallowed floor of UD Arena to see who will be named OHSAA Girls & Boys State Basketball Champion! Don't miss the action. 

2023 OHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament, March 9-11

Thursday, March 9 (State Semifinals)
Division II: Cincinnati Purcell Marian vs. Bryan, 11 a.m.
Division II: Canal Fulton Northwest vs. Proctorville Fairland, 1 p.m.
Division IV: Toledo Christian vs. New Middletown Springfield, 6 p.m.
Division IV: New Madison Tri-Village vs. Berlin Hiland 8 p.m.

Friday, March 10 (State Semifinals)
Division III: Wheelersburg vs. Columbus Africentric, 11 a.m.
Division III: Castalia Margaretta vs. Doylestown Chippewa, 1 p.m.
Division I: Cincinnati Princeton vs. Grafton Midview, 6 p.m.
Division I: Pickerington Central vs. Olmsted Falls, 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 11 (State Championships)
Division II: 10:45 a.m.
Division IV: 2 p.m.
Division III: 5:15 p.m.
Division I: 8:30 p.m.

Girls basketball all-session reserved tickets are $112 each, while premium seat tickets are $144 each. Single-session general admission tickets for the Girls Basketball State Tournament games are $16 for adults, $12 for students and $20 for premium seats. All tickets may be purchased at the OHSAA ticketing website

2023 OHSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament, March 17-19

Friday, March 17 (State Semifinals)
Division II: Rocky River Lutheran West vs. Dayton Chaminade Julienne, 10:45 a.m.
Division II: Columbus Bishop Ready vs. Akron Buchtel, 2 p.m.
Division IV: Berlin Hiland vs. Convoy Crestview, 5:15 p.m.
Division IV: Russia vs. Richmond Heights, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 18 (State Semifinals)
Division III: Ottawa-Glandorf vs. Columbus Africentric, 10:45 a.m.
Division III: Canal Winchester Harvest Prep vs. Cleveland Heights Lutheran East, 2 p.m.
Division I: Centerville vs. Pickerington Central, 5:15 p.m.
Division I: Akron Archbishop Hoban vs. Toledo St. John's, 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 19 (State Championships)
Division II: 10:45 a.m. 
Division IV: 2 p.m.
Division III: 5:15 p.m.
Division I: 8:30 p.m.

Boys basketball all-session reserved tickets are $168 each, while premium all-session tickets are $216 each. Single-session tickets for the Boys Basketball State Tournament are $16 for adults, $12 for students and $20 for premium seats. All tickets may be purchased at the OHSAA ticketing website.

All ticket prices include parking fees. The University of Dayton Arena is a cashless facility. Tailgating and overnight parking are not permitted.

The Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau encourages you to get out and enjoy March Madness in person - there's nothing like the energy and excitement of a live sporting event! Check back here and on the First Four® page of our website for additional information and updates.

If you're traveling to Dayton from out of town for the tournaments, you can find hotel and restaurant listings on our website to help plan your stay. Be sure to also check out the calendar of events, attractions and things to do sections of our website, so that you can explore and make the most of your time in Dayton! You can also download our FREE Visit Dayton App and Destination Dayton Visitors Guide, to have all this information right at your fingertips! Feel free to call us at 937-226-8211 (Monday-Friday) if you have questions about planning your March Madness visit.