Fans excited for NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, Elite 8 games here in Dallas

March Madness continues Friday night, and fans are set to pack the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

The Sweet 16 has some heavyweights that made the trip to North Texas, with top ranked Houston taking on Duke.

Marquette will also take on the Cinderella of the tournament so far, North Carolina State.

With March Madness back in Dallas, fans are enjoying the sights and weather, especially those from Marquette University.

"[It’s] 77° compared to 30° in Milwaukee right now. I love it. It’s a lot warmer," Marquette senior Punedt Saini said.

This weekend, the city will host the South Region finals, including the Sweet 16 on Friday and Elite 8 games on Sunday.

A group of Marquette seniors flew in Friday morning.

"We travel well. We have been going to all the games in March. The entire Marquette community comes out and supports the team. It’s a fun experience," Grant Winkel said.

Many NC State Wolfpack fans got to Dallas Thursday.

"We have just toured around the city, went to Lower Greenville, had some good BBQ, compared it to back home. It’s night and day. The beef brisket is a winner, I will say," Carol Stroupe said.


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These restaurants have a nice selection of food specials to get you ready for the NCAA Tournament. Here’s what’s available this week.

Dallas is no stranger to hosting big events. 

The AAC was host to the women’s Final Four last year. The championship game set a record as the most watched women’s final in tournament history.

"I think our community supports both men’s and women’s basketball, so we look forward to an exciting evening at AAC and let’s see who is going to play in our Elite 8 on Sunday," said Monica Paul, with the Dallas Sports Commission.

Paul said more signature tournament events are heading to North Texas. 

The 2030 men’s Final Four will be in Arlington, and the women’s Final Four will return to DFW in 2031. 

Houston hosted the Final Four last year, and San Antonio is hosting it next year. Both have hosted more Final Fours than North Texas. Paul spoke about why that is. 

"I don’t see us being overlooked. I think we were named the #1 sports business city a year ago. Our resume, we continue to build upon that. We are in a bid process right now for future men’s or women’s preliminary rounds, we are going to be aggressive in bringing sports events out here."

For the fans who traveled near and far to see their teams play on the biggest stage, they believe Dallas is a great location for sports. 

The NCAA made some news this week when the president of the NCAA called for a nationwide ban on prop bets for college sports. 

Theres’s sports betting billboards that have popped up around Dallas recently, but there’s no word from the governor about if he will push for that.