Not only is Kentucky the favorite to win the NCAA Tournament, but its fans are dominating the secondary ticket market.
Kentucky's opening pod location of Louisville is currently the No. 1 purchased tourney site on ticket seller StubHub, according to company spokesperson Joellen Ferrer. Pittsburgh, Pa. Omaha, Neb. Greensboro, N.C. and Nashville, Tenn. make up the rest of the top five pods by tickets sold.
Within those Louisville ticket purchases, 64 percent of the buyers reside from the state of Kentucky. Kentucky natives also make up 8 percent of Final Four strip tickets -- includes semifinal and championship game -- good for third-highest among all states. Only Louisiana, which hosts the Final Four in New Orleans, and New York make up for more of the early ticket purchases.
The Wildcats have a large fan base and are expected to cruise through their South Region on the way to the Final Four. Big schools like Kentucky, North Carolina, and Kansas typically make up a big bulk of ticket purchases due to loyal fan bases and high expectations, Ferrer said.
Ticket Purchasing Tips
If you are a fan of one of the 68 teams to make in into the NCAA bracket or simply a fan of college basketball, there are a few different ways to approach purchasing tourney tickets. You can purchase a full slate of tickets all the way through the Final Four, but risk losing out on money should your favorite team get knocked out early.
Or you can wait things out but possibly watch ticket prices rise if some of the bigger fan bases advance far in the tournament.
The NCAA Tournament is unlike other championship caliber events because everything can change so quickly, she said. We tend to see so much fluctuation with this overall event -- especially when there are upsets.
When you have a team like UNC that is banking on everything, if there is an upset, the market really dips on a day to day basis.
Ferrer said that it is impossible to put forth the perfect ticket buying strategy given the uncertainty of March Madness, but noted that it might be worthwhile to buy now if you strongly believe your favorite school is destined for New Orleans.
Another note for fans of big schools is it doesn't hurt to root for underdogs to succeed in March when it comes to ticket prices. A Cinderella run like Butler's or VCU's in 2011 makes for a great story, but ultimately makes it a little cheaper to get into a Final Four game than it would if all of the No. 1 seeds advanced.
So if you are a fan of Kentucky not only are you rooting for North Carolina to falter so that your team has a better chance of winning the title, but also because the absence of Tar Heel fans will make it cheaper for you.
Prices shoot up high because of the great story but it ends up falling quite a bit and people end up dumping their tickets, she said. A Cinderella story has a spike up initially and then it drops back down. If you are purely looking to go to any game regardless of who is in it, you would almost want to root for the underdog because your price to get in will be at a lower point.