Big-screen TVs. Food. And lots of beer.
Wells Fargo Arena isn’t the only place college basketball fans in Des Moines can watch all the madness.
Take a look at the sights and sounds of Hoops and Hops, hosted on downtown Des Moines’ Cowles Commons.
Freshman Gabe Kalscheur scored 16 of his 24 points in the second half to lead No. 10 seed Minnesota past No. 7 seed Louisville 86-76 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The win was Richard Pitino’s first in the tournament in his six seasons with the Gophers and extra sweet because it came against the school that fired his father, Rick Pitino, in 2017.
Backed by a throng of fans who made the easy drive to central Iowa, the Gophers were at their best in the East Region game. They took the lead midway through the first half and built it to 19 with 9:48 left.
Kalscheur made five of the Gophers’ 11 3-pointers while scoring his second-most points of the season. Minnesota’s starters did all the scoring. The Gophers are the first team to win with no bench points since Norfolk State beat Missouri in 2012.
Louisville, which lost nine of its final 14 games, got 22 points from Christen Cunningham.
—Eric Olson reporting from Des Moines, Iowa
DES MOINES – The Historic Court District in downtown Des Moines has teamed up with eight teams traveling to the city to create a home base for fans. Some of the schools alumni associations are hosting pep rallies as well as pre-game parties at their designated establishments.
The official team base camps are as follows:
• Bradley – The Exchange
• Florida – Shag’s
• Louisville – Tonic (on Court)
• Michigan – Annie’s Irish Pub / 1908
• Michigan State – Beer Can Alley
• Minnesota – Johnny’s Hall of Fame
• Montana – The Stuffed Olive
• Nevada – The Copper Cup
For every made shot, dunk or free throw attempted at the NCAA Tournament this week in Des Moines, you’ll be watching an Iowa product in plain view.
Jefferson-based American Athletic, Inc. manufactures basketball backstops for the NBA, WNBA and G League in addition to being the official provider for the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s a big process, and it is a long process,“ said Vice President of Operations Mark Lane. “It is a lot … and lots of parts which are simple by themselves but you have to weld them and put them all together.“
The time it takes to make a single back stop? 24 hours.
2019 NCAA Tournament in Des Moines
Food trucks prepare in downtown Des Moines
Things to do while visiting Des Moines
Police have plan in place for March Madness safety
With eight teams and their fanbases visiting Des Moines for the 2019 NCAA Tournament, here’s some places you can check out while in Iowa’s capital city.
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission—$10 for adults, $9 for seniors (65+), $9 for military, $7 for youth (4-17), FREE for children 3 and under
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission—$14 for adults, $11 for seniors (65+), $8 for children (3-12), FREE for children 2 and under** (active military, immediate family members of military and veterans receive $2 off)
**Discounted tickets can be purchased online ahead of time
Open Sunday from 12-5 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday through 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Monday)
Admission—$13 for adults, $9 for seniors (65+) and children (2-12)
Tours can be scheduled Monday through Saturday by calling 515-281-5591
Open from sunrise to midnight
WEST DES MOINES – When fans arrive for the tournament, we know they’re looking for some tasty treats to enjoy the game with.
Local food trucks are preparing for the big college tournament at The Hall!
Vendors are expecting crowds into the thousands and food truck owners say there is a reason to come enjoy their mobile kitchens over a regular bar and restaurant.
“Food trucks, number one, you’re definitley supporting local,” explains Grant Montour, owner of Roadside Tacos. “You’re taking care of the folks that are living in the city.”
You can catch food trucks at The Hall:
MON: 5pm – 9pm
TUE: 5pm – 9pm
WED: 5pm – 9pm
THU: 11am – 2pm and 5 – 9pm
FRI: 11am – 2pm and 5 – 9pm
SAT 11am – 9pm
SUN: 11am – 9pm
Iowa and Iowa State are slated to play Friday, but Des Moines is gearing up to host eight NCAA Tournament teams.
Local 5’s Angelina Salcedo taks a look at what the city and police are doing to prepare for the thousands of fans headed to central Iowa.
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