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Long celebrated as one of the most exciting events in all of sports, the NCAA basketball tournament is a can’t miss occasion for any college ball fan.

This year’s Final Four will kick off on April 6 at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Although tickets to the tourney have been notoriously tricky to obtain over the years, we’ve put together a handy-dandy guide to make it as easy as possible.

Through the NCAA

One method for getting tickets is through the NCAA. The organization operates an official website that has information about the tournament as well as a different options to purchase tickets. The methods available through the site include a random selection process, NCAA Experience ticket packages and the NCAA’s Fan Ticket Exchange. They’re also hosting a contest which includes tourney tickets, a hotel stay and free travel.

Random Selection Process

Each year starting in March, the NCAA opens their random selection process for fans to apply for tickets to the following year’s tournament.

Fans looking to secure tickets through this method are charged the full price of the tickets before the lottery is conducted, as well as a $25 application fee. If you are not selected in the ticket lottery, you are refunded the price of the ticket(s).

Unfortunately for this year’s tournament, the random selection process ended in May. However, if you’re interested in going to the 2020 Final Four, keep your eyes peeled for the random drawing in the coming months.

The NCAA Experience

The second method that the NCAA offers for ticket buyers is their NCAA Experience ticket packages through Primesport. These tickets are bundled together with hospitality packages that include access to a pre-game session that includes food, drinks and a meet-and-greet with a former player or coach. These NCAA Experience packages cost significantly more than a normal run-of-the-mill seat due to the upgraded amenities.

NCAA’s Fan Ticket Exchange

The final method of buying tickets through the NCAA is their Fan Ticket Exchange platform. The ticket exchange opens in the fall of each year and allows prospective ticket buyers to browse through a selection of verified tickets listed by other fans.

Directly from the Schools Participating

Each school that makes the Final Four receives an allotment of tickets which they make available to students and fans. This method can be extremely tricky for non-students as the schools usually reserve these tickets for students as well as season ticket holders and team boosters.

For students, the schools usually hold lotteries where names are drawn randomly to determine who is given the opportunity to be able to buy tickets. This is a fair way to ensure that each student gets an equal shot at purchasing tickets, but it’s far from a guaranteed way to get seats.

Secondary Markets

Another convenient option for buying tickets to any sporting event is through online secondary ticket markets. Online ticket websites provide fans with the ability to choose from a large inventory of seats, which makes it easy to find a good deal on your perfect set of tickets. Some of the more popular online ticket brokers include SeatGeek, StubHub and Vivid Seats.


SeatGeek, in particular, has the largest inventory of tickets anywhere on the Internet, which gives fans unparalleled access to the best selection of seats for any sporting event. In addition to their exhaustive Final Four ticket inventory, SeatGeek also has its own Deal Score system, which makes finding the perfect deal on your desired seats a cakewalk. You can browse all SeatGeek March Madness inventory here or select matchups below.

Private Sales

One additional way to buy tickets is to get them through private person-to-person sales. These sales can be done in several different ways but some of the more popular methods of selling tickets privately are through places like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and eBay. Your mileage may vary on this method if you wait to buy your tickets as it can be tricky coordinating an on-time delivery if you wait until the last minute.

(Cropped image courtesy of Eric Wong via Flickr. | CC BY-ND 2.0)