Fort Worth says goodbye to its share of March Madness 2022 Saturday, but not before giving fans two more, much-anticipated basketball games at Dickies Arena.
“We have some great matchups and we expect some big crowds again,” said Fort Worth Sports Commission Executive Director Jason Sands. “We’re having some fun in that arena, especially that Creighton win.”
Sands was referencing the Midwest Region first-round game that featured No. 9 seed Creighton (23-11) defeating No. 8 seed San Diego State (23-9), 72-69, in overtime Thursday. That sent the Bluejays into Saturday’s second round at 1:40 p.m. against No. 1 seed Kansas (29-6), an 83-56 first-round winner over Texas Southern (18-13).
Saturday’s opener at 11:10 in the East Region will pit defending national champion and top seed Baylor (27-6) against perennial power and No. 8 seed North Carolina (25-9). The Bears advanced with an 85-49 victory over Norfolk State (24-7), while the Tar Heels moved on by downing Marquette (19-13), 95-63.
Between them, Kansas (3) and North Carolina (7) have won 10 national championships and have been to 35 Final Fours (North Carolina a NCAA record 20, Kansas 15).
Sands said fans at Thursday’s sessions were excited by more than the games they were watching in person as they were able to see highlights of other games being played around the country on the big overhead scoreboard monitor.
“They put Kentucky getting beat (by St. Peter’s) up and there was a lot of ooh-ing and ah-ing,” he said. “Then, we had our own overtime game.”
Limited seating is still available, but fans are advised to hurry and get tickets.
And while this year’s NCAA Tournament visit to Fort Worth is soon to be over, based on its reception it would come as no surprise if the tournament were to make its way back soon.
“Fort Worth has March Madness Fever,” Sands said.
Along with the games, there’s a lot more for fans to enjoy Saturday. Here’s the complete schedule:
8:30 am. – Dickies Arena box office opens.
9 a.m. – FAN FEST at Dickies Arena’s Simmons Bank Plaza, filled with food and fun, such as:
– Savory breakfast selections, including smoked burritos featuring pulled pork, scrambled eggs, pepper jack cheese and smoked potatoes or vegetarian style featuring scrambled eggs, pepper jack cheese and smoked potatoes; brisket; smoked cheddar and jalapeno sausage on a stick; turkey legs; funnel cake.
– Eye opener cocktails, featuring bloody marys and mimosas.
9:40 a.m. – Doors open to the arena, concessions and cocktail stations open for fans.
10 a.m. – Live band “Members Only” at Simmons Bank Plaza.
11:10 a.m. – Game 1 tipoff (1) Baylor vs. (8) North Carolina.
1:40 p.m. – Game 2 tipoff (9) Creighton vs. (1) Kansas.