March Madness is just around the corner, but make no mistake about it, the NCAA men’s basketball season really begins to get wild in the month of February. This is the time of the year that contention for the top seeds in the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament really heats up, and the intensity is amplified to epic proportions due to the fact that some of college basketball’s best games start to tip off with Rivalry Week. The true beauty of it all is that when these historic programs go head to head, the rankings are jettisoned in favor of the moment. The calendars have been marked months in advance, and the pedal is always to the metal, so any team can win on any given night. Nothing epitomizes the passion of live sports better than the atmosphere created by these matchups, and we’ve got the breakdown of the upcoming NCAA rivalry games you need to experience for yourself.
No. 5 Duke Blue Devils vs. North Carolina Tar Heels
Any talk of the best NCAA rivalry has to begin with the matchup that’s arguably the single-best rivalry in all of sports—Duke vs. UNC. Only nine miles separate these powerhouses on U.S. Highway 15-501, and no rivalry has delivered on the hype in recent memory as much as “The Battle for Tobacco Road.” Remember Austin Rivers’ game-winning three? The UNC come-from-behind blowout on Senior Night in 2011? North Carolina (14-6) leads the all-time head-to-head series, 132-102, but this season Duke (17-2) is playing out of their minds and will be looking to avenge last season’s 88-70 loss. The latest edition of this timeless classic is set to go down on Wednesday, February 13th at 9 p.m. inside Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, NC. The Cameron Crazies will surely keep the intensity of this matchup at fever pitch, so claim your 2013 Duke vs UNC tickets now to witness it all live.
No. 6 Syracuse Orange vs. Georgetown Hoyas
Syracuse announced their departure to the ACC in July, and one of the biggest questions was whether they would maintain this heralded rivalry game. This legendary showdown was born and bred in the Big East, and sadly this game is the first of the final two that will take place in its original conference. From the fans, to the players, to the coaches, everyone dislikes everyone on the opposing team, and things really took off back in 1980 when Georgetown coach John Thompson II grabbed a microphone and declared that “The Manley Field House is officially closed!” after his squad beat Syracuse in the last game at their former arena. This year, Syracuse (18-2) holds the ranking edge, but the Hoyas (15-4) are steadily climbing towards the Top 25. The game is set for tip-off on Saturday, February 23rd at 4:00 pm inside the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. We’ve got plenty of 2013 Syracuse vs Georgetown basketball tickets for you to be there to experience this one-of-a-kind battle live.
No. 1 Michigan Wolverines vs. No. 13 Michigan State Spartans
Sometimes schools are lucky enough to enjoy an outstanding rivalry in multiple sports, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find two schools that do it better the Wolverines and the Spartans. Perennially in the top 25 in football, these days they are making waves just a large on the court. As of now, Michigan (19-1) is at the number one spot in the country, and the Spartans (17-4) are knocking on the door to the top 10, which should make for the best matchup we’ve seen in recent memory. It also helps that these NCAA juggernauts truly despise each other and have epitomized intensity on the hardwood so far. Michigan is 3-1 in the past two years, but State claimed a 10-point home win the last time out. The next edition is on Tuesday, February 12th at 9:00 PM inside Jack Breslin Arena in East Lansing, MI. Check out our selection of Michigan vs Michigan State basketball tickets to enjoy the show.
No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks vs. No. 18 Kansas State Wildcats
In a year that Kansas (18-1) and Kansas State (15-4) are both ranked in the top 20 in the country, it’s hard to argue that there will be a better matchup taking place this month. “The Sunflower Showdown” is a bitter rivalry that dates back all the way to 1907, and over the years it has steadily grown into one of the best in-state competitions on all the nation. The Jayhawks leads the overall series 64-41-5, and as recently as 2010 they met in the Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament Championship Game, with the Jayhawks prevailing. Both Kansas Coach Bill Self and KState coach Bruce Weber made their way to the Sunflower State from the University of Illinois, and both have done excellent jobs this season, so expect a barnburner. Cheers of “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!” will be ubiquitous inside Allen Fieldhouse as they go to battle on Monday, February 11th at 8:00 p.m. Make sure to get your 2013 Kansas vs Kansas State basketball tickets today.
No. 4 Florida Gators vs Kentucky Wildcats
In the past 20 years, the Gators and the Wildcats have stood as two of the best programs in the country, and they’ve certainly been the premier squads to come out of the Southeastern Conference. Since 1992, there have been only six seasons in which the winner of the SEC Tournament wasn’t either Florida or Kentucky. And dating back to 1996, Kentucky has won three National Championships (1996, 1998, 2012), while Florida has won two (2006, 2007). In short, there’s an abundance of pride that always makes this one ultra-competitive. Coach Billy Donovan has Florida (16-2) riding high once again this season, and though Coach Calipari and the Wildcats (14-6) slipped early, they’re gaining steam and feature some of the country’s finest talent. Tip off for this showdown is set for Tuesday, February 12th at 7:00 p.m. inside Stephen O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL. As always, this should be an instant classic, so get your hands on 2013 Florida vs Kentucky basketball tickets now.
No. 3 Indiana Hoosiers vs. Purdue Boilermakers
There’s no doubt that Indiana (18-2) is the powerhouse coming into this one, and they defeated Purdue (11-10) earlier this week by a score of 97-60, but it may surprise people that Purdue holds the overall series lead (112-87). Despite the latest result, you can bet on Purdue coming back with a vengeance. The key behind this rivalry is that, in addition to these squads being bitter Big Ten competitors, the state of Indiana simply bleeds basketball. Whenever they meet in Assembly Hall or Mackey Arena, it’s always uber-intense and makes for a heck of a spectacle. The action this year is set to go down on Saturday, February 16th at 2:00 PM inside Assembly Hall in Bloomington, IN. Nothing compares to the intense, red-and-white-clad crowd for Indiana home games, so make sure to claim your 2013 Indiana vs Purdue basketball tickets to witness the show live.
No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 13 Michigan State Spartans
Any time you take two of college basketball’s best coaches and pit them against each other in a Big Ten chess match with some of the best players in the country as the pieces, you’re in for something special. Luckily for NCAA fans, that’s been the case for the past seven years as legendary Michigan State (17-4) Coach Tom Izzo and Ohio State (16-4) Coach Thad Matta have kept their programs in the upper echelon for most of recent memory. The rivalry has continued to intensify as they've met in the Big Ten conference tournament quite a few times, and now they they’re both in the top 15 in the country, so the intensity should boil over. The game is set to tipoff on Sunday February 24th inside Value City Arena at Schottenstein Center in Columbus, OH. If you’re looking to experience the atmosphere of college basketball at its finest, then make sure to get your hands on Michigan State vs Ohio St. Basketball tickets today.