Which Rival Has Cheaper College Basketball Tickets?


Many of College Basketball’s top rivalry games are played among Conference foes. Of course, there is the exception of Louisville-Kentucky, the most in-demand College hoops game in non-conference play, that features the preseason No. 1 and No. 3 teams in the country on December 28. The difference between college football rivalry games and College hoops is that you’ll often face your hated rival twice in a season – on the road and at home. While attending a heated rivalry game at home is a far better experience than on the road, is it worth five times the cost?

Maybe we should ask Duke fans. No doubt, the greatest College Basketball rivalry is Duke-North Carolina. The ACC rivals have a combined nine National Championships, thirty-three Final Four appearances, and forty-eight regular season conference championships. Of the 236 meetings, many were games played with a conference title, tournament seeding, or national ranking on the line. Their rosters are filled with top recruits and NBA prospects and boast two of the sport’s most legendary coaches (Mike Krzyzewski is the winningest coach in college basketball history). The rivalry is intensified thanks to the proximity of schools. Devoted Blue Devil and Tar Heel fans, alumni, and donors work together, live together, and as Coach K points out share the same favorite shops around town.

“Forget the Big Ten … we share the same dry cleaners … There is no other area like this. It produces things, situations, feelings that you can’t talk to other people about. Because they have no understanding of it.”

Lucky for Blue Devils supporters, a trek to Chapel Hill is just 10 miles away because the cheapest UNC-Duke ticket in Durham is $1,036. In Chapel Hill, $236. Have we changed your mind about attending that last regular season game at Cameron Indoor Stadium? The extremely intimate court on the Duke campus has 12,436 less seats than the echoing Dean Smith Center; the limited supply of seats is driving the price of Duke Blue Devils basketball tickets way up.

Check out our Top 5 College Basketball rivalry games below to see how prices compare. To note, aside from the UNC-Duke pairing, the first game of each series is the most expensive.

Duke vs. North Carolina Basketball Tickets

Date Venue City Cheapest Avg.
02/12/14 Dean Smith Center Chapel Hill $236.00 $379.96
03/08/14 Cameron Indoor Stadium Durham $1,036.00 $1,889.92

Kentucky vs. Florida Basketball Tickets

Date Venue City Cheapest Avg.
02/15/14 Rupp Arena Lexington $147.00 $345.96
03/08/14 Stephen C. OConnell Center Gainesville $56.00 $116.70

Kansas vs. Kansas State Basketball Tickets

Date Venue City Cheapest Avg.
01/11/14 Allen Field House Lawrence $43.00 $304.94
02/10/14 Bramlage Coliseum Manhattan $132.00 $260.32

Michigan vs. Michigan State Basketball Tickets

Date Venue City Cheapest Avg.
01/25/14 Breslin Events Center East Lansing $118.00 $227.19
02/23/14 Crisler Arena Ann Arbor $114.00 $177.73

Georgetown vs. Villanova Basketball Tickets

Date Venue City Cheapest Avg.
01/27/14 Verizon Center-DC Washington $24.00 $149.12
03/08/14 Wells Fargo Center-PA Philadelphia $62.00 $105.96


Other famous rivalry games include Pac-12’s Arizona vs. UCLA and Big Ten’s Michigan vs. Ohio State and Indiana vs. Purdue. The difference? These accomplished programs will only face their conference rival once this season, heightening the stakes.

Arizona vs. UCLA Basketball Tickets

Date Venue City Cheapest Avg.
01/09/14 Pauley Pavilion Los Angeles $48.00 $154.86

Michigan vs. Ohio State Basketball Tickets

Date Venue City Cheapest Avg.
02/11/14 Schottenstein Center Columbus $42.00 $121.73

Indiana vs. Purdue Basketball Tickets

Date Venue City Cheapest Avg.
02/15/14 Mackey Arena West Lafayette $76.00 $102.56
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