Large fan bases to flock to Indianapolis for NCAA men’s basketball championship

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The first round games of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship in Indianapolis start Friday.

Eight teams will face-off at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana Sports Corp staff say Selection Sunday is just as exciting for them as it is for the NCAA teams involved because they get to see who will come to the Circle City.

Sunday night, the NCAA announced four teams, Louisville, Dayton, Kentucky, and Northern Kentucky, all within a three-hour-drive, will play at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse Friday and possibly again Sunday. Also, the University of Michigan’s basketball team which has a huge fan base was chosen to play in Indy.

Now, Indiana Sports Corp, other local organizations, and many volunteers will begin working to prepare the city with the proper signage and decor.

“There’s a lot of things that have to happen when you talk about the way the cities look and how we get logos up and how we greet people at hotels and what families get to work with what groups, so a lot of excitement takes place in a short period of time,” Indiana Sports Corp President Ryan Vaughn said.

Here’s the schedule for the basketball games set for Friday:

  • 7. Michigan vs. 10. Oklahoma State at 12:15 p.m
  • 2. Louisville vs. 15. Jacksonville State at 2:45 p.m
  • 7. Dayton vs. 10. Wichita State at 7:10 p.m.
  • 2. Kentucky vs. 15. Northern Kentucky at 9:40 p.m.

The winners of those four games will then advance to the second round games in Indy on Sunday.

It is a sold-out event.

“We expect the demand for tickets to be extraordinarily high and I think it will have the same if not larger economic impact as sort of your traditional basketball tournament,” Vaughn said.

There are three sessions of games. The two early ones Friday, the late two, and then a third session on Sunday. Expect to pay at least $100 per ticket for each session and no less than $300 for full strip tickets on resale websites and that’s for the balcony. If you want to sit close to the hardwood you’ll pay somewhere between $700 and $15,00 for the full weekend of games.

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