Detroit RiverfrontStop by the Detroit Riverfront for some serious off-court action. "The 2009 NCAA Men's Final Four weekend in Detroit wouldn't be complete without 'The Big Dance,' " Monforton says. "Three days of free musical concerts will take place, including performances by the Pussycat Dolls, Gavin DeGraw, Fergie, Staind, Gym Class Heroes, Jesse McCartney, N.E.R.D., Janelle Monáe, Keith Sweat and emcee Ryan Seacrest." Best part? The celeb-filled fest is free. The Cullen Family Carousel and the Wheelhouse Detroit bike rentals also will be open. 313-566-8200; ncaamarchmadness2009.com/mens/big_dance.aspx.
Official fan restaurantsDon't have a ticket to the game but still want to have the ultimate Final Four experience? "Fans can check out the game at the official fan gathering restaurants, each of which will 'adopt' fans from each of the Final Four teams during the weekend," Monforton says. Connecticut fans will be holding court at Hockeytown Café (313-965-9500), Tar Heels will be at Detroit Beer Co. (313-962-1529), Michigan State will be cheering from Cheli's Chili Bar (313-961-1700), and Villanova fans will meet at Bookies Tavern (313-962-0319).
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American HistoryThere's no shortage of museums in Detroit. Start with this one, where the permanent exhibit And Still We Rise: Our Journey through African American History and Culture shines a light on the men and women of Detroit who made a difference in civil rights. Also, "see 126 stunning and exact replicas of Tutankhamun's sacred and personal possessions in the exhibit Wonderful Things From the Pharaoh's Tomb," Monforton says. The museum currently has an exhibit dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr., which intertwines works from every continent celebrating King's dream. 313-494-5800; maah-detroit.org.
Hoops City at Cobo CenterFor a day filled with basketball, bands and Bow Wow, Hoops City at Cobo Center is where you need to be, Monforton says. There are "basketball competitions, clinics, performances, photo ops, prizes, autograph sessions." Head here tonight for a mega-pep rally featuring the mascots and cheerleaders from each school, and watch the schools' pep bands duel it out in Battle of the Final Four Bands. ncaamarchmadness2009.com/mens/hoop_city.aspx