DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Fans from far and wide make the annual trek to Dayton each year for the Final Four games, but you may be surprised to learn how many Ohio families have made it a tradition to come out for the event, no matter what teams are on the court.
Dan Easterday is in town with his son from Chillicothe. They have been making the trip to Dayton for years.
“We come every year to the games, since the inception. My son makes the annual pilgrimage and we stay in Beavercreek. It’s what we do,” he says.
Easterday says the environment at UD Arena is magnetic, no matter who is playing.
“Dayton does a wonderful job with everything; free t-shirts and great games! The play-in games are getting better, and the teams are getting better as the years progress,” he tells 2 NEWS.
Just like this father-son duo, there’s brotherly love in these seats.
Harold Morrow graduated from the University of Dayton and now lives in Atlanta. His brother lives in Washington, D.C. Each First Four they come back to enjoy some hoops, rooting for the underdogs.
“Seeing teams you wouldn’t typically see, particularly the last teams in, not the big conference teams,” he says.
Morrow says the smaller schools have brighter eyes when they step on the First Four court, and they tend to really embrace the moment.
“The team came up to the stands here and started shaking hands. I’ve seen them start autographing shirts for the kids and stuff. I think that’s really good,” says Morrow.