While this was a year filled with upsets, this Saturday, there will be at least one No. 1 in the NCAA’s national basketball championship. If Loyola-Chicago – which comes complete with a 98-year-old nun leading the cheering section – has their way, it will also come with a No 11 seed in the finals. For that to happen, they’ll have beat third-ranked, who Michigan made it to the Final Four for the first time since 2013.
Along with Michigan, Kansas and Villanova’s spot in the final four mean that three big-time programs will be vying for the National title. That also means that prices will be historically high.
According to data from TicketIQ, prices for the Final Four are up 77% since selection Sunday, which marks the second-highest increase since the Company started tracking the market in 2011. TicketIQ tracks data from over 300 secondary-market sellers including the Official NCAA ticket exchange, powered by Primesport.
FINAL FOUR at San Antonio: Average Price: $1036, Cheapest Ticket: $317
No. 11 Loyola-Chicago vs. No. 3 Michigan
Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt is Loyola’s team chaplain, and she’s become something of an icon as Loyola has continued to defy the odds and advance to the Final Four. But whether or not the Ramblers are truly getting an assist from above, they’ll face their toughest test in Michigan, which has been to the Final Four seven times and won once. The Wolverines have both the pedigree and experience to get to the national championship. Three of the four No. 11 seeds that have reached the Final Four have done so since 2006, and none of the previous three have advanced to the title game.
No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 1 Kansas
This is what the Selection Committee probably envisioned. Villanova and Kansas have a combined five national titles, including one apiece since 2008. Villanova (1985, 2016) has won two and Kansas has won (1952, 1988, 2008) three. This game will be the marquee matchup. Villanova brings the best offense in the nation, which averages 87 points per game. But both the Wildcats and Jayhawks are above average in every category. Villanova and Kansas are 3-3 in the all-time season series, and the Wildcats beat the Jayhawks in a regional final in 2016 on their way to a national title.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP at San Antonio: Average Price: $619, Cheapest Ticket: $176
For fans looking to really pamper themselves, in addition to options on the secondary market PrimeSport has all-inclusive packages, starting at $995, which includes everything in the Fan Experience package plus premium food and beverage with upscale, unlimited food stations and open bar. Also featured in the package are interactive games, live music and appearances by nine-time NBA All-Star George ‘Iceman’ Gervin, ex-San Antonio Spur small forward Sean Elliott, media personality Seth Davis, and composer David Barrett, who wrote ‘One Shining Moment,’ the song played when the national champion cuts down the nets.