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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.
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NCAA unveils 2023 Men's Final Four logo for Houston
POSTED: December 2, 2021 -- 10:45 a.m. CT
Executives from the NCAA and the Houston Local Organizing Committee, along with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and the head men's basketball coaches from four local Division I host institutions, unveiled the logo for the 2023 men's Final Four at a press conference earlier today. The event will take place March 31 - April 3, 2023, with Houston Baptist University, Rice University, Texas Southern University and the University of Houston making history as the first quartet of institutions to host the Final Four. Games will be played on April 1 and 3, 2023 at NRG Stadium. The city is hosting the event for the fourth time, having previously crowned national champions in 1971, 2011 and 2016.
With a blue, red and white color palette inspired by the Texas flag, an exterior shape reminiscent of NASA mission patches, orbiting rings and four stars representing the fourth time Houston will host the Final Four and the four teams competing, the logo is uniquely tailored to represent the fourth largest city in America and its spirit of exploration and entrepreneurialism.
“The unveiling of this logo marks something really special for us,” said HLOC President Holly Kesterson. “It's a tipoff to the 16 months of excitement leading to the tournament in 2023. The road there includes community impact projects that represent the spirit of the student-athlete and the Final Four; powerful education initiatives such as the reading competition that promotes literacy, Read to the Final Four; interactive celebratory events for all ages like Final Four Fan Fest; March Madness Music Festival, Final Four Friday; plus opportunities for Houstonians to sign up to be a part of our incredible volunteer team.”
During the next 16 months, the Local Organizing Committee and NCAA will work in partnership with representatives from the State of Texas, Harris County, the City of Houston, Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, Houston First, Houston Police Department, public transportation, host institutions and host venues like NRG Park, the George R. Brown Convention Center and Discovery Green to plan for a safe, inclusive, and thrilling time for locals and visitors alike during the Final Four and its ancillary events.
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Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of men's basketball, explained, “we are thrilled to bring the Final Four back to the city of Houston, which has a rich history of hosting the event. It was 50 years ago when UCLA won its fifth consecutive national title. Ten years ago, it was UConn cutting down the nets at NRG Stadium, followed five years later by the classic Villanova-North Carolina title game that will go down as one of the great conclusions to a championship game in sports history. Now, in just 16 months, Houston will be the center of the college basketball universe again. We are thrilled for the city and the quartet of institutions that will host another world-class event that will create countless memories for tens of thousands of people in the area.”
Basketball fans hoping to attend the Final Four games on April 1 and 3, 2023 can visit NCAA.com/MensFinalFour to apply for tickets and learn more about the low to no cost ancillary events.
In 2016, the two-session Final Four attendance totaled 149,845, the second-highest attendance in men's Final Four history. Further, 220,400 people attended FanFest and the March Madness Music Festival and 12,000 Houston children were impacted by the youth programs hosted by the HLOC and NCAA.
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