Part sporting event, part social phenomenon and part traffic jam, the NCAA Final Four will occupy downtown Atlanta until Monday. You won’t be able to hoist a 3-pointer without hitting someone connected to college basketball’s annual pageant.
- The hoops: Friday’s appetizer are the four semifinalists’ practices at the Georgia Dome (Noon- 5:50 p.m.), which are free and open to the public, as is an ensuing college all-star game (tip-off: 5:07 p.m.) In between Saturday night’s semifinals and Monday night’s finals are Sunday’s Division II and III title games at Philips Arena.
- The music: Free nightly concerts in Centennial Olympic Park begin tonight (Saints of Victory at 4:45 p.m., My Morning Jacket at 7 p.m., Zac Brown Band at 9 p.m.). Ludacris headlines Saturday night and Dave Matthews Band highlights Sunday night.
- The traffic: The Downtown Connector will be slammed. Remember the Braves play the Cubs all weekend and the Hawks play Friday night at Philips. Officials urge those who can to take MARTA, which will adding additional trains all weekend. Those who must drive are advised to find alternates to the Williams Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive exits. Parking? Good luck.
- The fans: Crowds of 100,000 are expected daily around the venues. Need a hoop fix? Try the Bracket Town fan fest at the Georgia World Congress Center, an daily interactive event with clinics, autograph sessions and a three-on-three basketball tournament.
- The weather: A winner. Sunny all weekend with highs in the low 70s.