The NCAA Men's Final Four returns to the Dallas area for the first time in almost 30 years when it comes to AT&T Stadium in April, but basketball junkies won't have to wait that long to see some championship-quality games in Arlington.
That's because UT Arlington is hosting the 2014 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Championship, an eight-team tournament taking place March 6-8, culminating with games at College Park Center. The No. 1-seeded Movin' Mavs are hosting the tournament for the third time since 2005, and the first time since College Park Center opened in 2012.
The No. 1-seeded Movin' Mavs have won seven national championships.
The Movin' Mavs have been somewhat of a force in the world of wheelchair basketball since they began competing against other colleges and universities in 1989. In that 25-year span, the team has captured seven national championships, with 34 of its players being honored as first team All-Americans.
Six other universities are competing, including the University of Alabama, University of Illinois, University of Missouri, Southwest Minnesota State University, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. Since the tournament started in 1977, all but six champions have come from the pool of teams competing again this year.
UTA also will host the women's tournament, with UT Arlington, in its first year of play, competing against teams from Edinboro University, Alabama, Illinois and Wisconsin at Whitewater.
The Movin' Mavs have attracted athletes from around the world to play for the team; the men's roster contains players from four foreign countries, including Australia, Germany, Austria and Venezuela.
Admission to all three days is free and open to the public, with games taking place Thursday and Friday at Maverick Activities Center before moving to College Park Center on Saturday.