NCAA SOUTH NOTES: Dome rehearsal only half of Final Four setup

ATLANTA -- The NCAA South Regional is at the Georgia Dome as a dress rehearsal for next year's Final Four.

But the court will be in a completely different position when the 2013 champion of college basketball is crowned next April.

For the games Friday night and the one to be played Sunday, the court was at one end of the Georgia Dome and the faraway seats curtained off similar to when the SEC or ACC tournament have been held in the building.

In 2013, though, the court will be placed at the about the 50-yard line. That is also different from 2007, the previous time the Final Four was held at the Dome.

The court was positioned to allow a crowd of about 50,000. But since 2009, the NCAA has required at 70,000-plus seats for the Final Four.

At the 2013 Final Four, the court will be placed on a platform in the middle of the Dome and temporary courtside seating will be installed to push capacity past the 72,000 used for football.

The Final Four next year will be the fourth held in Atlanta. It was held in 1977 at The Omni -- Philips Arena's predecessor -- and in 2002 as well as 2007 at the Georgia Dome.

Next year will mark the 75th anniversary of the Final Four, which was first held in 1939 at Northwestern University with Oregon defeating Ohio State. This year's Final Four is at the Superdome in New Orleans.

It's Cat-lanta again

Having No. 1-ranked Kentucky in the South Regional insured that there would be no trouble selling tickets. Having Indiana as the Wildcats' Sweet Sixteen opponent made it even a more must-see game Friday night.

The NCAA initially put about 22,500 lower-level and middle-level seats on sale and they sold out quickly. Upper-level seats were added to the available inventory on Sunday, increasing potential capacity by another 10,000 or so.

Kentucky has always been known for bringing large crowds to Atlanta for the SEC Tournament and the Wildcat faithful was out early as usual on Thursday.

When Baylor and Xavier tipped off the first game, there was more Kentucky blue in the stands than either Baylor neon yellow-green or Xavier navy.

The South Regional was assured of having the largest crowds on the road to New Orleans. None of the other sites in the NCAA Tournament prior to the Final Four were domes.

Drew gets support from parents

Baylor coach Scott Drew had a couple of loyal rooters at the Bears' 75-70 victory over Xavier. For the first time this season, Homer and Janet Drew were able to attend a Baylor game together.

Drew's parents are both battling cancer, with each diagnosed last September and going through surgery at the same time. Janet Drew just finished her treatments.

"It's her first round trip," Drew said of his mother.

Drew played for his father at Valparaiso, as did his brother Bryce, now the Valparaiso coach. Valparaiso reached the Sweet Sixteen in 1998, when Bryce made one of the more memorable NCAA buzzer-beaters in a first-round upset.

"I think anytime you can have family and friends with you to celebrate big moments, that's exciting," the Baylor coach said.

Xavier gets positive injury news

Dezmine Wells and Andre Walker were both in the starting lineup for Xavier, giving Musketeer fans a brief bit of good news. But the encouraging vibes didn't last long as Baylor jumped off to a 22-4 lead before Xavier could get untracked.

Wells sprained his right big toe last Sunday in the victory over Lehigh and Walker was limited in that game because of migraine headaches.

Wells, a 6-foot-5 freshman, was averaging 10 points and 4.9 rebounds, while Walker, a 6-foot-8 senior, contributed 5.4 points and 5.8 rebounds. But they combined for just two points in the 75-70 loss to Baylor.