A Final Four Fan's Guide to Houston

Pundits can argue all day about how the NCAA chose the teams in this year's NCAA Tournament, but they nailed it when they chose the host city. Houston may be the perfect place to host a large event like the Final Four. It is, after all, the fourth largest city in the United States and has all the entertainment and dining opportunities a hoops traveler could ask for.

H-town has really stepped it up for this year's edition of what is arguably the best sporting event of the year. Some big names are already committed to play during the three-night concert series creatively dubbed "The Big Dance" in the city's Discovery Green area. Here's a schedule with a look at who's headlining on each particular day:

  • Friday ,April 1 (4:00-10:30): Sublime with Rome (basically the 90's-band Sublime with new lead singer Rome Ramirez)
  • Saturday, April 2 (6:00 to midnight): Kings of Leon
  • Sunday, April 3 (2:00-10:30): Kenny Chesney (Pat Greene is also reportedly playing this day)

Besides the music, abundant food and activities will keep you busy all day! You may want to find your seat early, because all the shows are free! For all the Big Dance information, including transportation, parking and security, click here.

When hunger strikes, you won't have to look around very long as Houston is tops in the country when it comes to good, old-fashion BBQ! AJ Mistretta from the Houston Convention and Visitor's Bureau says to try Pizzitola's or Goode Company for some authentic Texas BBQ.

Mistretta is the featured guest on the
2011 Final Four edition of  Sports Traveler Radio.

Mistretta says it's also worth your while to visit the Houston Zoo and Space Center Houston before you blast off for home. The Houston CVB also has posted to their website a list of all the official NCAA events going on around the city.

As far as basketball goes, if you filled out a bracket for an office pool this year, chances are you've already checked out the IRS website to see if that $20 entry fee can be written off as a donation. Your picks probably aren't any better than the Houston Zoo's sea lions, who have also been choosing winners throughout the tournament. With an 8 seed (Butler) taking on an 11 seed (Virginia Commonwealth) on one side of the bracket and perennial powers Kentucky and UCONN on the other, it promises to be an excited ending to an already wild tournament.

If your team happens to win the tournament, a trophy presentation and pep rally will be held at that team's hotel after the game.

To book your exclusive package to Houston for the 2011 Final Four, including hotel accommodations and tickets to all three games, visit www.sportstraveler.net. Don't forget to like us on Facebook for all of our sports travel-related updates!

For general information about Houston, TX, visit www.visithoustontexas.com.

(basically the 90's-band Sublime with new lead singer Rome Ramirez)
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