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Wednesday at CIAA: Education Day, hoops, parties

About 5,000 middle and high school students from the Charlotte region will be part of the CIAA tournament experience Wednesday as they participate in Education Day activities.

Education Day is an annual event at the tournament where admissions representatives from the CIAA’s member schools meet with students and help them prepare a road map for getting accepted into college.

Students will gather at the Charlotte Convention Center to hear inspirational speakers and then meet with college and university officials. Students will begin arriving before 9 a.m. and will be at the convention center until early afternoon.

Wednesday’s schedule also includes basketball and parties. As more people arrive in Charlotte for the tournament, those who work and visit Charlotte’s center city can expect larger crowds and more traffic on uptown streets.

Here are some things to remember about Wednesday’s CIAA activities:

The games: All games are at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Women’s quarterfinals games are at 10 a.m., 12:20 p.m., 2:40 p.m. and 5 p.m. Men’s first-round games are at 7:20 and 9:40 p.m.

Want tickets? Many fans don’t realize that tickets are available at the door for Wednesday’s games. They’re $15, or $10 for college students with IDs.

Getting around uptown: No road closures are planned, but police will intermittently close lanes to accommodate heavy pedestrian traffic. Streets around Time Warner Cable Arena and the Charlotte Convention Center will be busy throughout the day.

Expect heavy congestion during the day Wednesday, due to the large number of school buses near the convention center for Education Day.

A reminder ... From 6 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Charlotte Area Transit System will operate the Gold Rush Red Line on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and McDowell Street, in addition to its normal route.

The parties: The CIAA doesn’t keep track of the various events held at restaurants and clubs around the city, but you can find a schedule of many parties at http://events.charlotteobserver.com/charlotte_nc/events/ciaa+2014.

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