Behind the Madness: Previewing Prices for 2017 NCAA Tournament Tickets

Ditch your responsibilities over the next three weeks, there’s college basketball to watch.

The 2017 NCAA Tournament officially kicked off Tuesday night with the first pair of First Four games in Dayton, Ohio. 64 teams will battle for college basketball’s biggest honor, with sights set on cutting the nets down at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 3.

And for fans looking to take in the action across the country, plenty of deals exist for 2017 NCAA Tournament tickets on the resale market.

Defending champion Villanova enters play as the top overall seed in the tournament, joined by fellow No. 1 teams Gonzaga, Kansas and North Carolina. With first-round action beginning Thursday, there won’t be much time to catch your breath, so make sure to lock down tickets before the madness starts.

On TicketIQ, a search engine that collects data from over 90 percent of the resale market, prices vary depending on region and matchup. Several teams are playing in close proximity to their respective campus (Duke and South Carolina in Greenville, for instance), so select sessions are generating massive resale ticket demand. No need to fret, however: there is ticket value in all four regions.

Take a look below at a price breakdown by region through the Sweet Sixteen, according to TicketIQ:

As expected, Duke and South Carolina’s first-round games are posting the biggest ticket demand for an individual session this season. With Duke taking on Troy followed by South Carolina vs. Marquette, the cheapest tickets available at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Friday are fetching for $260 each. No other first or second-round game comes close to rivaling that price, with a round two matchup in Greenville on Sunday the closest at a $234 get-in price. East Regional Finals tickets at Madison Square Garden are priced from $162 each on TicketIQ.

Perhaps the biggest bang for your buck will be in the West Region, where prices start from as low as $36 at select sessions. The West features several notable teams, including Gonzaga, Arizona, Florida State and “Dunk City” Florida Gulf Coast. Catching Gonzaga’s opening game against South Dakota will be pricey (tickets start from $95 each in Salt Lake City), but locking down tickets for Arizona vs. North Dakota won’t cost north of $40. Round two tickets in Orlando are just $42 each on Saturday. San Jose’s SAP Center hosts the West Regional Finals on March 26 ($130 starting ticket price).

The Midwest Region will be fronted by Kansas, Louisville, Oregon and Purdue, all who have potential to make a deep bid in this year’s tournament. Still, even with the star power of all four schools, ticket prices remain modest in the region. Select sessions start from under $60, including Kansas and Oregon’s first-round games. Only one session owns a get-in price higher than $100 during the first two rounds of play in the Midwest. Regional Finals tickets can be found from $153 at Sprint Center in Kansas City.

North Carolina, Kentucky, UCLA and Butler round out the top four seeds in the South. Light travel is likely impacting prices for UNC’s first-round game in Greenville against Texas Southern, as the Friday session will be the most expensive of the first round in the South at a $97 asking price. The South Regional Finals will be the cheapest of all Regional Finals, with tickets starting from $109 each at FedExForum in Memphis. Consult the official TicketIQ NCAA Tournament buying guide for pricing updates throughout the tournament.

The action will move to Glendale, Arizona for the Final Four and Championship Game between April 1 and 3. As it stands now, the best value is for an All Sessions Pass at University of Phoenix Stadium. Including access to both Final Four games and the Championship Game, All Sessions Final Four Passes start from $375. Purchasing individual tickets to all three games (two sessions) will run no less than $460. For those looking to take in one of the two sessions (the two Final Four games or Championship Game), asking prices are nearly identical. The get-in price for the Final Four semifinal games on April 1 is now $238, slightly more expensive than the $222 asking price for the Championship Game on April 3.

So, what are you waiting for? With the nation’s best schools battling over the next three weeks, snag your tickets to an upcoming session and indulge in the latest edition of March Madness.

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