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NCAA Women's Final Four: Fan events, experiences in Minneapolis

Similar to the Men's Final Four — hosted by Minneapolis in 2019 — the NCAA has put together a full itinerary for fans leading up to Sunday's main event.

MINNEAPOLIS — Editor's note: The video above first aired on KARE 11 March 18, 2022.

The national college sports spotlight is back on Minneapolis, as the four best Division I women's basketball teams prepare to face off in the 2022 NCAA Women's Final Four tournament.

The Target Center will host the semifinal games Friday and open its doors again Sunday to welcome the final two teams competing for the championship title.

But similar to the Men's Final Four — hosted by Minneapolis in 2019 — the NCAA has put together a full itinerary for fans leading up to Sunday's main event.

Read on for a schedule of events.

Friday, April 1

Tourney Town presented by Capital One

Tourney Town is an interactive fan experience held at the Minneapolis Convention Center that is free and open to all members of the public. The NCAA says games, special appearances, giveaways, food and more will be available to fans. The event will open to the public at 9 a.m. and go through 5 p.m.

Beyond the Baseline presented by AT&T

The first session of Beyond the Baseline takes place inside Tourney Town Friday from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event features panel discussions, networking and social events to provide professional development opportunities, and to celebrate women's basketball and women's advancement both on and off the court.

Details:

  • BTB Session #1: 2 – 3 p.m.; Q&A Session 3 – 3:30 p.m.
    • Beyond the Baseline Opening Series Welcome & “Rising Up: Using Sports to Heal a Community.”
      • Program Info: Examine the City of Minneapolis’s recent national headlines and how hosting the 2022 WFF has brought a resurgence to the Minneapolis community. Showcase how sports/sporting events provide a healing opportunity to bring people together – across all demographics – to execute one of the world’s premier sporting events.

Party on the Plaza presented by Buick

The Party on the Plaza pregame event includes food and drinks, music, games and more outside the Target Center from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

Semifinal games

The doors to the Target Center will open to fans attending the semifinals at 4:30 p.m.

Tip off for the first game — between South Carolina and Louisville — will happen at 6 p.m., while the second game — featuring hometown hero and pride of Connecticut, Paige Bueckers, against Stanford  — will get underway around 8:30 p.m. 

The winners of these two games will play in Sunday's national championship.

Saturday, April 2

Tourney Town presented by Capital One

Tourney Town is an interactive fan experience held at the Minneapolis Convention Center that is free and open to all members of the public. The NCAA says games, special appearances, giveaways, food and more will be available to fans. The event will open to the public at 9 a.m. and go through 6 p.m. Saturday.

Beyond the Baseline presented by AT&T

The second, third and fourth installments of Beyond the Baseline take place inside Tourney Town Saturday, spanning from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event features panel discussions, networking and social events to provide professional development opportunities, and to celebrate women's basketball and women's advancement both on and off the court.

Details:

  • BTB Session #2: 10 – 11 a.m.; Q&A Session 11 – 11:30 a.m.)
    • “CHANGEMAKERS – How Women’s Sports are Leading Change.”
      • Discuss the significance of the WNBA Changemaker program. Specifically, how women’s sports (college, professional and sponsors) mobilize efforts to highlight social issues to drive change. Corporate representatives to share the importance of investing in women’s sports and aligning with the unique women’s sports position them for driving change in arenas far beyond the court.

  • BTB Session #3: 1 – 2 p.m.
    • Around the Rim (ESPNw Podcast), “I Am Speaking”
      • Program Info: A live ESPN+, YouTube, Hulu, Facebook, ESPN App, video and ESPN Radio podcast recording with LaChina Robinson facilitating a discussion with a distinguished panel around the WNBA’s social justice campaign of 2020 and how black women continue to be leaders in athlete advocacy.

  • BTB Session #4: 2:30 – 3:15 p.m.; Q&A 3:15 – 3:30 p.m.)
    • “Shattering the Glass for the Next Generation”
      • Program Info: Women empowerment and inspirational session for session attendees. Provide insight via key women leaders in the previously male-dominated sports world on how they achieved their role and share with the public the impact of these trailblazers; why they kept at it to be historical in their roles and how they are shattering the glass for the next generation.

Party on the Plaza presented by Buick

The Party on the Plaza pregame event includes food and drinks, music, games and more outside the Target Center Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. 

Super Saturday practice

The final two teams will have an open practice Saturday at the Target Center from 1 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. and the event is free and open to the public.

Super Saturday Concert presented by AT&T

Before a national champion is crowned Sunday at the Target Center, fans can gather at the Minneapolis Convention Center Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for a live performance by singer-songwriter Rachel Platten. The event is free and open to the public.

A wristband is required for entry, which will be distributed at the check-in table located outside Hall D of the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Sunday, April 3

Tourney Town presented by Capital One

Tourney Town is an interactive fan experience held at the Minneapolis Convention Center that is free and open to all members of the public. The NCAA says games, special appearances, giveaways, food and more will be available to fans. The event will open to the public at 9 a.m. and go through 4 p.m. Sunday.

Beyond the Baseline presented by AT&T

The fifth and final session of Beyond the Baseline take place inside Tourney Town Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The event features panel discussions, networking and social events to provide professional development opportunities, and to celebrate women's basketball and women's advancement both on and off the court.

Details:

  • BTB Session #5: 10 – 11 a.m.; Q&A 11 - 11:30 a.m.

    • “Celebrating 50 Years of Title IX – Minnesota Tells Her Story.”

      • Provide brief information on the history and impact of Title IX, show video with key highlights of NCAA’s Title IX 50th Anniversary. Celebrate the ways Title IX has proven successful for each panelist as a featured Minneapolis Title IX Leadership Honoree

Women's Final Four Bounce presented by Buick

Kids age 18 and under are invited to join thousands of others along the parade route, dribbling through the streets of Minneapolis from the Convention Center and back. Event check-in goes from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., with the official bounce beginning at 1 p.m.

Participants must pre-register online as space is limited. Waivers also must be completed by all participants and chaperones either during registration or onsite upon check-in. Event organizers say chaperones are encouraged to walk the route with their Bouncers, but there will also be a pick-up zone for parents at the finish line.

The first 2,000 kids who register will receive a free basketball and t-shirt. 

Party on the Plaza presented by Buick

The Party on the Plaza pregame event includes food and drinks, music, games and more outside the Target Center Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

Sunday's Party on the Plaza will also give fans the chance to cheer on the final two teams as they enter the arena before the championship game. The teams will arrive at approximately 3 p.m. at the intersection of 7th Street and 1st Avenue.

NCAA Women's Basketball National Championship game

The final two teams compete for the 2022 national women's basketball title, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Target Center.

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