Before the excitement of March Madness comes another treat for college basketball fans: conference tournaments.
Thirty-two Division I conferences will crown a champion in the coming weeks, granting those tournament winners an automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Today, Vivid Seats releases a conference tournament ticket price breakdown, with several tournaments set to get underway this week.
Here are some highlights:
The Kentucky Effect? SEC conference championship game ticket prices are down compared to last year. Also down in 2018 are the Kentucky Wildcats, perennial conference favorites currently sporting a 9-7 record in the SEC. Last year, Kentucky was ranked No. 5 in the country and was the top seed in the SEC tournament; this year, the Wildcats projected as the No. 5 seed in the SEC tournament. If Kentucky makes a run to the SEC tournament title game—which would hardly be surprising—look for ticket prices to shoot up.
WCC title game hype. Tickets for the West Coast Conference tournament title game start at $89—the highest “get-in” price of any postseason tournament. Could it be that Gonzaga and St. Mary’s fans are already anticipating a showdown in the finals? The duo is a combined 33-3 in conference games this season and they split their pair of regular season matchups.
Nevada driving Mountain West ticket sales? Another conference with high championship game ticket prices is the Mountain West, with a minimum price of $65, which is more than the ACC, Big Ten or Big 12. The reason likely has to do with the superb season Nevada is enjoying. Nevada is 25-5 and nationally ranked; it’s a strong favorite to earn a berth in the conference title game—held in Las Vegas.