5 Hottest NCAABB Teams on SeatGeek Right Now
The new college basketball season is nearly upon us, meaning it’s time to start thinking about ticket purchases for your favorite teams. Based on SeatGeek sales data, here are the hottest teams on the market right now!
#5. North Carolina Tar Heels
After two straight trips to the National Championship game, not to mention taking home last season’s title, it’s no wonder that UNC makes our list of hottest NCAA tickets for the upcoming season. Playing in the always-tough ACC, the Tar Heels will certainly have multiple must-see games, including two matchups against the rival Duke Blue Devils, as well as two against Louisville, Notre Dame, and Miami – all teams that should provide close games for UNC. Outside of conference play, the Heels will meet the Michigan Wolverines in a fantastic, early-season tilt.
North Carolina Tar Heels Tickets
Diehard UNC fans will always flock to the Dean Smith Center for these popular games, especially when the team’s coming off such a fantastic couple of seasons. However, time will tell how great the 2017-18 season shapes up for them, especially with six incoming freshmen looking to make impacts for the team. Unfortunately, for the Heels, during the writing of this piece, it was announced that senior starting point guard Joel Berry II broke his hand and will miss at least the first four weeks of the season, meaning that sophomore Seveth Woods will likely start the season in his place.
Can UNC defy odds and make it to a third straight National Championship game? It’ll be a tough road for Roy Williams’ squad, but the team will definitely provide some fantastic regular season games over the course of the next five months.
#4. Indiana Hoosiers
This season, the Indiana Hoosiers will have a different feel after letting go of head coach Tom Cream and hiring Archie Miller away from the University of Dayton. If anyone can get a young team’s fan base to forget about the disappointment of a 10th-place finish in the Big Ten a year ago, it’s the head coach that took Dayton to four straight NCAA Tournaments and an average of 25 wins per season.
Indiana Hoosiers Tickets
Bloomington’s Assembly Hall always attracts large attendance numbers, as IU has some very dedicated fans that are passionate to say the least. Regardless of the team’s success this season, there will be some games that Hoosiers fans need to attend. One of the biggest early season matchups takes place against Duke at the end of November, followed up by a Big Ten opener against Michigan that’s sure to be a sell-out, especially after the Wolverines’ phenomenal finish to last season.
From a roster standpoint, the losses of O.G. Anunoby, James Blackmon, and Thomas Bryant make it harder for this year’s Hoosier squad to compete in the tough Big Ten. With these three gone, it will be up to some of the new faces – freshmen Justin Smith and Aljami Durham – to contribute and fill some of the minute left by the major departures. Smith and Durham are the two freshmen poised to get the most minutes, as fellow incomers Race Thompson and Clifton Moore aren’t figured to get much time, at least early in the year. It might take some time, but the good news for IU is that this 2017 class is rated 17th in the nation and the best in the Big Ten, so the team’s future is bright.
#3. Kansas Jayhawks
If you’re not a Kansas Jayhawks diehard, the team’s rampant success in the Big 12 might be boring and frustrating at this point. The Jayhawks might as well be called the San Antonio Spurs of that conference, as the team is a model of consistency. Under head coach Bill Self, Kansas has won at least a share of the conference title every year since 2005, and with one of the nation’s best rosters once again this year, it’s hard to see any other team ending its streak.
Kansas Jayhawks Tickets
As far as must-see games go, the Jayhawks kick things off very early in the season with an exciting matchup against the Kentucky Wildcats at the United Center in Chicago. If Kansas fans can make the trip, they’re encouraged to do so, as there’s nothing like seeing a battle between two top-10 teams in one of the nation’s nicest sports venues. In conference, we still have every reason to assume that the Jayhawks will be the dominant force, but there should be some exciting games throughout the season. Two games against Jeffrey Carroll and Oklahoma State as well as Jevon Carter and West Virginia should provide some of the year’s best Big-12 games.
From a roster standpoint, Kansas fans are certainly looking forward to the return of senior guard Devonte’ Graham, as well as Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Udoka Azubuike, and Lagerald Vick. Newbies include Mississippi State transfer Malik Newman, who should make an immediate impact, as well as incoming freshmen guard Marcus Garrett and forward Billy Preston.
Will this be the year that Kansas returns to the glory of 2008 and wins another National Championship? Can another team in the Big-12 contribute to the Jayhawks’ fall from grace? Get to some Kansas games and find out. You won’t be disappointed.
#2. Kentucky Wildcats
Here’s your yearly reminder that coach John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats are not a team to be taken lightly. Even though they lost each of their top seven scorers from last season – as well as suiting up Coach Cal’s youngest team ever this year – the SEC title still feels like Kentucky’s to lose.
Must-see non-conference games for the Wildcats include the November 14 matchup against Kansas, as well as December 23rd’s game against the UCLA Bruins. In the SEC, there are a few teams that could give the Wildcats some entertaining games, including the Florida Gators and the Missouri Tigers, giving you two chances each to see if the young Wildcats can continually knock off the conference’s other top-tier teams.
Kentucky Wildcats Tickets
Transylvania Pioneers at Kentucky Wildcats BasketballRupp Arena · Lexington, KY
Winthrop Eagles at Kentucky Wildcats BasketballRupp Arena · Lexington, KY
The Wildcats roster is essentially brand new. The only returning players who should have a major role on this season’s team are sophomore Wenyen Gabriel, who many believe will be the team’s most important factor this season, and sophomore Hamidou Diallo, who redshirted last season and almost left for the NBA. Incoming freshman Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, aside from having one of the conference’s best names, should make a huge impact as the team’s starting point guard. Fellow freshman Quade Green will provide some welcomed quickness to the team and he should push the team’s pace.
Does Coach Cal’s youngest ever roster make it back to the Final Four? Can it even win this season’s SEC title? As always, the Wildcats will be one of the nation’s most exciting teams and one that should be seen in person whenever possible.
#1. Duke Blue Devils
I don’t think we need to tell you why the Duke Blue Devils are the hottest team in NCAABB. In Coach K’s 37 seasons, Duke has consistently been a force to be reckoned with, winning five National Championships and 14 ACC Tournament championships. Coach has been notorious for handling his teams differently, promoting growth and development at the college level as opposed to the one-and-done format that UK’s Calipari is famous for. However, this season is quite different, as five of the team’s major players left for the NBA Draft, four of whom were freshmen or sophomores last season.
Duke Blue Devils Tickets
Regardless of the roster shakeups, Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium is a must-see team in a must-see venue. If you’ve never experienced the raucous atmosphere of Cameron, this is the season to do so. The tests begin very early for the Blue Devils with a November 14 non-conference matchup against the Michigan State Spartans, followed by a November 29 game against the Indiana Hoosiers, which could prove to be a trap-game for a new look Duke team that will still be finding its footing. Of course, in the ACC, there’s almost never a bad game, meaning that you should take any chance you get to see Coach K’s team.
With the roster, senior – and consistent media talking point – Grayson Allen returns to lead a young squad. Is this the year he finally matures and leads the team? Or will it be another year filled with tripping and tantrums? Sophomores Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier also return and they should have much bigger roles, filling the departures of Luke Kennard, Jayson Tatum, and Frank Jackson. Of course, the biggest incoming roster story was the late addition of Marvin Bagley III, who will likely be a day-one starter. He’ll combine with 6’11” freshman Wendell Carter, another probable starter, to make two of the team’s best scoring options.
Look for Duke to make another run at an ACC championship and a solid NCAA Tournament appearance.
With 351 teams in D1 NCAA basketball, there are so many teams and games to see throughout the season. However, if you have the chance to see any of these five teams during the 2017-18 campaign, we urge you to make it happen.
(Image courtesy of Skot Llindstedt via Flickr.)