What’s happening in sports: Women’s Final Four games, parties and more

March Madness has hit Tampa. Here’s what you need to know.
Published April 3
Updated April 17

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: WOMEN’S FINAL FOUR TIPS OFF THE HOOPS

March Madness comes to Tampa when the 2019 Women’s Final Four tips off at Amalie Arena with a weekend full of sports and entertainment. The semifinal games are 7 p.m. Friday (Baylor Bears vs. Oregon Ducks) and 9:30 p.m. (Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. UConn Huskies). For Connecticut, it’s the 12th year in a row the school has made the Final Four, while Oregon is in its first. The title game is at 6 p.m. Sunday. Join in the celebration before the action with Party on the Plaza outside the arena with music by DJ Shawna, interactive games, official merchandise and more. 4 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday. 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Price varies by game. (813) 218-3829. ncaa.com.

THE HOOPLA

There are three days of events surrounding the Final Four at Tourney Town in the Tampa Convention Center and at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Tourney Town is a fan festival Friday through Sunday that includes special appearances, autograph signings, interactive games and more. The highlight is a free Super Saturday Concert by pop artist Gavin DeGraw in the park. The live music will be capped off by fireworks. Things get started at 5:30 p.m. On Sunday, those 18 and younger are invited to join the Final Four Bounce, a nonstop dribble parade along the Riverwalk and into Tourney Town. Includes a basketball and a T-shirt. 1 p.m. Free (registration required).

OH, AND THE MEN

The Final Four matchups in Minneapolis feature two first-time teams in the Auburn University Tigers (30-9) and Texas Tech University Red Raiders (30-6). Saturday’s national semifinals pit favored University of Virginia Cavaliers (33-3) vs. the surprising Tigers (6:09 p.m., CBS), while the Michigan State Spartans (32-6) take on the upstart Red Raiders (8:49 p.m., CBS). The national-title game is on Monday (9 p.m., CBS).

AUTOS: SOUTHEAST STREET ROD NATIONALS

Gearheads, rejoice! This marks the 32nd year for this gathering of hot rods and vintage machines of nearly every make, model and style. More than 1,400 vehicles are expected, including pickups, muscle cars and who-knows-what-else. There will also be a swap meet, model car show and Women’s World exhibitors. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $19, $17 seniors, military, $10 children 6-12, 5 and younger free. Parking is $8 per car.

RUNNING

Fit City Run: Wear glow products or costumes for the “Glow in the Park” 5K run and 1-mile walk with “glow” activities. 5 p.m. Saturday. North Straub Park, Fifth Avenue NE and Bayshore Drive, St. Petersburg. $5-$20. (727) 892-5994. runsignup.com.

Mile for a Child: A 5K run along Tampa Bay to benefit foster and homeless children. 9 a.m. Saturday. Ben T. Davis Beach, 7650 Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa. $35, $25 children. (813) 252-0575.

ALSO PLAYING

Florida State League: It’s opening-night baseball for the Clearwater Threshers as they face the Dunedin Blue Jays. Stay after the game for fireworks and a concert by the Black Honkeys. 5:30 p.m. Friday. Spectrum Field, 601 N Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. $6-$10. (727) 467-4457.

The Tampa Tarpons open their home schedule on Saturday against the Lakeland Flying Tigers. 6:30 p.m. George Steinbrenner Field, 3802 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Tampa. $5-$8. (813) 879-2244. milb.com.

Tampa Bay Lightning: The Bolts, now just the third NHL team ever to win 60 games in a season, finish the regular schedule with road games Thursday (Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m.) and Saturday (Boston Bruins, 1 p.m.). TV: Fox Sports Sun; radio: 970-AM. The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs begins Tuesday.

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