Nov. 5, 2009

NCAA Release

HOUSTON - The city of Houston, which first hosted the Final Four at the Astrodome in 1971, officially started the countdown to the 40th anniversary of that event by unveiling the logo and launching the official Web site for the 2011 Final Four, which will take place at Reliant Stadium. The national semifinals will be played Saturday, April 2, 2011, with the national champion being crowned on Monday, April 4.

Reliant Stadium will also host the South Regional March 26 and 28, 2010. The facility previously hosted the South Regional in 2008, when nearly 33,000 people were in attendance for both the regional semifinals and regional championship game. The 2010 regional will mark the 10th time the city has hosted the Division I Men's Basketball Championship. Delmar Field House hosted first-round games in 1961; Hofheinz Pavilion was the host venue for first-round games in 1971, regional competition in 1973 and first- and second-round games in 1985; and The Summit played host to first- and second-round games in 1983, as well as regionals in 1980 and 1986.

The University of Houston and Rice University will serve as co-hosts for both the 2010 South Regional and the 2011 Final Four. Athletic Directors Mack Rhoades of Houston and David Sayler of

Rice joined Robert Dale Morgan, executive director of the Houston Local Organizing Committee and Dan Guerrero, who is the athletic director at UCLA and current chair of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee. The other nine members of the basketball committee, which includes Dan Beebe, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference; Mike Bobinski, the athletic director at Xavier University; Doug Fullerton, commissioner of the Big Sky Conference; Jeff Hathaway, the athletic director at the University of Connecticut; Lynn Hickey, the athletic director at the University of Texas-San Antonio; Laing Kennedy, the athletic director at Kent State University; Stan Morrison, the athletic director at the University of California-Riverside; Gene Smith, the athletic director at Ohio State University; and Ron Wellman, the athletic director at Wake Forest University, were also in attendance.

Including the 2011 Final Four, the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship will be conducted in Houston in four of the next eight tournaments, beginning with the South Regional in March. Two regional semifinal games will be played Friday, March 26, with the regional final scheduled for Sunday, March 28. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by going to www.ncaa.com/mbbtickets.

The championship returns to Houston in 2015, when it hosts the South Regional, and again in 2016, when the city again hosts the Final Four.

For more information, visit the Final Four Web site at www.ncaa.com/finalfour.