March Madness: NCAA Tournament Travel Deals
March 7th, 2011
You don’t have to be a huge fan of college basketball to know it’s March Madness time – from the constant barrage of advertising to the office pools, it’s kind of hard to miss. But you have to be a certain kind of dedicated fan to actually go the games live – right?
Some sports are easier to watch on TV, but basketball is one that is enhanced by being in the arena during the games. And when the stakes are as high as the NCAA Championship, the atmosphere just can’t permeate a television screen. So whether or not your team is a Cinderella team that just feels lucky to have made the playoffs, one of the Final Four, or somewhere in between, seeing the NCAA March Madness games in person is a great experience.
The trouble is that if you’re waiting to see where your team is playing (or if your team advances) before you make travel plans, you could get caught out. Last-minute travel is notoriously expensive, so obviously you’re better off booking as soon as you possibly can. We’re here to help, too, with some links to help you find the best deals on trips to the various cities hosting the NCAA tournament games this year.
>> The NCAA Championship Tournament in 2012 runs from March 13-April 2
- Travel Deals for NCAA First Four, Second Round, & Third Round Games – There are eight cities hosting the first and second round games of the tournament, and you’ll find information on getting cheap flights and cheap hotel rooms in each of them in this article. These rounds are arguably your best chance for finding last minute deals, as the tickets to the games are likely to be easier to come by (unless it’s a huge match-up). [March 13-18, 2012]
- Travel Deals for NCAA Regional Games – When your team makes it to the regionals, you can almost taste the Final Four already, can’t you? Not so fast, there are still a couple games to get through. There are four cities hosting the regional semis and finals, and this article has links to get you cheap airfare and cheap hotels in all of them. [March 22-25, 2012]
- Travel Deals for NCAA Final Four Games – If your team makes it this far, you might consider that a victory in and of itself. Wait, who are we kidding? Of course you won’t. You’ll want to win it all. And who can blame you? The Final Four games are hosted by one city (in 2012 that’s New Orleans), which means all eyes are trained on one place – and all travelers are descending on one place. So read this article for tips on finding cheap airfare to teh Final Four and finding cheap hotels in the city, too. [March 31 & April 2, 2012]
Of course, getting to the cities where the games are hosted and finding a budget-friendly room to crash in between games is one thing – getting tickets to the games is another. Tickets to the Final Four games may go faster than the others simply because people who don’t care what teams are playing will be buying them long before the Final Four teams are known, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find tickets to the earlier rounds. In some cases tickets to the earlier rounds may be more scarce, too, so the best advice is to buy tickets as soon as you know you’ll be going to the games. Otherwise you’re stuck at home watching on TV, and that’s no good.
>> You can look for tickets to all the NCAA March Madness games – click through and type “NCAA” into the “Keyword” box at the top, and you’ll get results for all the NCAA games, from the Opening Round Play-In Game through the Final Four.
photo by SD Dirk