It’s finally happening.
For the first time in the history of the NCAA tournament, Duke and UNC, the biggest rivalry in the game, will be played on the biggest stage.
The Blue Devils (32-6) defeated Arkansas, 78-69, Saturday night in San Francisco. The Tar Heels (28-9) beat Saint Peters, 69-49, in Philadelphia the next day. That set the stage for an epic showdown in the 258th meeting between the two foes.
Duke and UNC will play at 8:49 pm on Saturday.
Want to head to New Orleans to see it? It will cost a pretty penny.
It’ll be the biggest, and potentially most expensive, showdown between the two. The market skyrocketed when the matchup came together.
According to TickPick.com, the average Final Four ticket price before the tournament was $286. When Duke earned its Final Four berth, the price jumped to $610. When UNC won to set up the Duke-UNC game, the price increased to $844 on Sunday night.
Want to sit court side at the Superdome? Be ready to fork out $32,825, according to StubHub. Vividseats.com will give fans some relief, down to $22,425 for the courtside view. The cheapest courtside seat on StubHub will run fans around $12,000 a pop.
Courtside too high? Fans can venture up to the nosebleeds and pay between $749-$1,750 on StubHub.
Seats in the 300 level on Ticketmaster start at $5,723. Seats in the upper level starting range between $400-$1,405.
As of Monday morning, TickPick.com reported the average price was $656, a 50% increase over the $437 average price for the last, pre-pandemic, fully-attended Final Four in Minneapolis in 2019.
It’s starting ticket prices for the 300 level are $1,232. It’s least expensive tickets, in the 600 level, start at $418 and the 100 level tickets are $3,532.
As of Monday morning, TickPick reported its most expensive Final Four purchase was four tickets in Section 311, Row 15 for $4,719 ($18,876 total). The most expensive seat available was in Section 143, Row 9 for $27,568.
Need a place to stay? Hotels downtown near the Superdome are starting at $429 a night. Hotel rates this weekend are as high as $1,180 per night.
If fans want to get in town on Friday, flights out of RDU range from $704-$2,413.
This isn’t the first time prices for a Duke-UNC game have skyrocketed.
When the two teams met on March 5 in Durham, Mike Krzyzewski’s final game at Cameron, prices surpassed the cost of Super Bowl tickets. Tickets for that showdown, won by UNC, were going for $3,000 on the secondary market.
For that game, tickets ranged from $3,000 to $79,988 on StubHub.
Kansas and Villanova will meet in the first game of the day at 6:09 pm The main show, at least to basketball fans in the Triangle, will follow.
UNC owns six NCAA tournament titles, winning it all in 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009 and 2017. Duke has won it all five times: 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010 and 2015. UNC has the edge, 142-115, in the all time series.
This the second time Duke and UNC have both advanced to the same Final Four. It happened in 1991 in Indianapolis, but they were on opposite sides of the bracket. On March 30, 1991, at the Hoosier Dome, North Carolina, then coached by the legendary Dean Smith and with current coach Hubert Davis scoring 25 points, lost 79-73 to Kansas in the first of the national semifinals. Duke, with Krzyzewski leading them, toppled undefeated UNLV, 79-77.
Staff Writer Steve Wiseman contributed to the article