As the 2013 college basketball season winds down with only three games remaining, the collective nation turns their attention to Atlanta where the Final Four tips off Saturday night. The first game of the night pits upstart Wichita State against prohibitive favorite Louisville. While this first game will be fun to watch for the Cinderella aspect, the second game between Syracuse and Michigan may very well be the best game of the 2013 NCAA tournament.
Tickets for the Final Four are going quickly and the prices have been rapidly fluctuating as demand continues to outpace supply. The current average price for the Final Four games tomorrow night are $801.35, while it costs over $300 ($312) just to get into the Georgia Dome for the games. The hospitality package for the games is even pricier with the average price up to $1,103 and the minimum ticket costing $447.
Since Saturday features two games while there is only one on Monday night for the national championship, the ticket for the final game of the season is not as pricy and there are still tickets floating around for $124. The average price for Monday night’s title game, which is subject to change based on which teams are playing, is currently $502.09. As the game approach, ticket quantity will of course continue to decrease only increasing the price of tickets. As for the game, Jim Boeheim’s Syracuse team features a stifling 2-3 zone defense which forces an incredible number of turnovers (23.6% of the opposition’s possessions end in turnovers, good for 19th in the nation) and forces opposing offenses to settle for a high rate of jumpers. On the other sideline, John Beilein’s Michigan team led by point guard Trey Burke boasts one of, if not the best offenses in the country. Trey Burke was recently named the 2013 Wooden Award winner his deep three to force overtime against Kansas in the Sweet 16 has brought Burke even more into the national spotlight.
The matchup between Syracuse’s zone defense and Michigan’s potent offense provides one of the great battles of the basketball season. Michigan has scored 70+ points in every game of the NCAA tournament, including a scorching 79 points against a top five Florida defense. Syracuse on the other hand has not allowed more than 60 points in the tournament. Michigan’s offense, headlined by Burke alongside Tim Hardaway, stretches the defense and will look to shoot over the Syracuse defense.
Syracuse will have to keep a constant eye on freshman sharpshooter Nik Stauskas who shoots 45% from outside the arc. For Michigan to be successful against the athletic Orange defense, they will need to spread the floor and look to pass the ball over the top of the zone. If Beilein’s squad becomes to content to sit outside and launch shots, rather than working the ball inside-out, the game could get ugly in a hurry. On the other end of the floor, Syracuse will rely heavily upon scintillating sophomore Michael Carter-Williams and versatile senior James Southerland to provide a balanced scoring attack. While the Orange are known for their defense, their ability to hit the boards on the offensive glass provides them a multitude of second-chance baskets. Furthermore their propensity for forcing turnovers leads to a large number of runouts for quick points on the fastbreak.
Syracuse has only lost three times since February, twice to Louisville and once to Georgetown, and they have arguably been one of the nation’s hottest teams during this span.
Ticket Prices: Hospitality Package Average price = $1,103.83
Get-in price = $447
All Sessions Average price = $1,006.28
Get-in price = $330
Final Four Semifinal Games Average price = $801.35
Get-in price = $312
NCAA Championship Average price = $502.09
Get-in price = $124
Regardless of who claims the title on Monday night, this weekend promises to be an exciting weekend of basketball with four solid teams making the trip to Atlanta.