So What’s All The Big Hoopla About?

It started as an idea… It expanded into a regional initiative… And now, after a few short years, the Dayton region is recognized as the Epicenter of College BasketballFans from around the world know that THE ROAD STARTS HERE™, in Dayton, Ohio! In case you need proof, here is a small subset of the mounting evidence: The Big Hoopla is home to America’s #1 Host Site: UD Arena has hosted 105 Men’s Tournament Games, more than any site in the world!

The Big Hoopla has a rich history in its brief existence. Year after year, the Dayton region rallies behind a clear vision to produce incredible results, further demonstrating the seriousness with which we take our role as America’s #1 Host Site and home to America’s Most Passionate College Basketball Fans!

2023 Big Hoopla





MARCH 2022

The 2022 First Four marked a historic year for the Big Hoopla. The Dayton region celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Big Hoopla. The USAF celebrated its 75th anniversary at the 2022 First Four. Additionally, the Hoopla Ticket Program surpassed 100,000 tickets donated to Wright-Patterson service members and local students. Along with these achievements, the 2022 First Four was the most watched and highest rated in history, as well as setting all-time records for most unique viewers and total minutes viewed.


NCAA extends agreement with The University of Dayton to host the NCAA Tournament First Four through at least 2026.

MARCH 2016
MARCH 2016

Hoopla STEM Challenge grows 400% since its inception in 2012.

MARCH 2016
MARCH 2016

Most watched program on cable TV.

MARCH 2016

For the sixth consecutive year, at least one of the four winning teams advanced beyond the next round.

MARCH 2015

First-ever halftime show developed organically by an early-round NCAA host site.

MARCH 2015

Dayton became the first “First Four” team to play on its home court


NCAA praises the Dayton’s commitment to the First Four by awarding the 2016, 2017 and 2018 NCAA First Four to the region.

march 2014

The NCAA First Four produces record viewership and ratings; increases of 34% and 32% respectively (compared to 2013).

march 2014

The Hoopla Ticket Program surpasses 10,000 tickets donated to Wright-Patt Airmen and local students.

MARCH 2014

The Hoopla Challenge expands to include a STEM education component to engage students from across the Dayton region.


First Four Events Foundation Inc. receives 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS to support tax-deductible donations from individuals and organizations supporting the Hoopla Ticket Program.

MARCH 2013

UD Arena becomes the first-ever host site to surpass 100 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament games hosted.

MARCH 2013

The Dayton region produces a first-ever First Four sellout as part of 10-conseuctive games played in front of a sold out crowd during the opening week of the NCAA Tournament.


NCAA acknowledges the Dayton region’s commitment to the First Four by extending hosting agreement through 2015.


NCAA First Four Local Organizing Committee produces financial commitments to sellout the 2013 First Four 5 months before the tournament tips-off.

MARCH 2012

A first-ever visit from the US President, British Prime Minister & Ohio governor join fans from the Dayton region at UD Arena on the first night of the NCAA Tournament.

MARCH 2012

The Local Organizing Committee hosts the first-ever First Four Festival which draws 15,000 on Selection Sunday to downtown Dayton. Festival includes the first annual Hoopla Challenge.


First Four Events Inc. created to support the NCAA First Four Local Organizing Committee efforts in Dayton, Ohio.

March 2011

VCU makes their historic tournament run from First Four to Final Four.

March 2011

UD Arena hosts the first-ever First Four games as March Madness expands to 68 teams.

March 2011

UD Arena hosts the first-ever Opening Round game of the NCAA Tournament as March Madness expands to 65 teams.


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