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Free special events surround Final Four

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Organizers of the 2012 Final Four say fans and families throughout the region don't need tickets to the big games to take part in many of the events New Orleans will host that weekend.

Jeff Hathaway, who chairs the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee, stresses that several events are free. Those include admission to the Superdome for all four team's practices and a college all-star game on March 30. There is also a "Big Dance" concert series at Woldenberg Park on the city's river front on March 30 and April 1.

Championship director Jacqie Carpenter says there will be community service initiatives including educational programs and free basketball clinics for up to 800 youth.

The semifinal games are on March 31 and the championship game is April 2.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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