UK makes Louisville a hot ticket in NCAA


by Joe Arnold

Posted on March 12, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 12 at 6:51 PM

(WHAS11) -- This year's golden ticket in the NCAA tournament is a Big Blue ticket.

With the number one seed in the tournament, the University of Kentucky Wildcats will play their first two games just 75 miles away from home at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville.

At a special ticket lottery on Monday afternoon, fifty University of Kentucky students grabbed some of the last available tickets for the first game on Thursday.

Tickets for all three sessions to be played at the KFC Yum! Center went on sale in October and sold out about three weeks ago, said U of L Athletics' Josh Heird.

Each university that has a team in the tournament is allocated up to 550 tickets per session in which they play a game.  UK set aside 100 $60 tickets for students.  The Wildcats play at 6:50pm on Thursday versus the winner of a "play in" game between Mississippi Valley State University and Western Kentucky University.

Murray State University of Kentucky also plays in Louisville, a 12:15pm tipoff on Thursday versus Colorado State.

If a team loses in the second round (Thursday), that university is not allocated any tickets for the third round (Saturday).

Heird said that some tickets may become available through the NCAA if any of the eight teams playing in Louisville decline their full allotment.

Hundreds of tickets for the games in Louisville are being advertised for sale on websites like eBay, Stub Hub and Craigslist. Yet, only is sanctioned by the NCAA.  Heird said that the KFC Yum! Center is alert and ready to confiscate counterfeit tickets.

Other tickets may become available on Thursday from the fans of losing teams.

Ticket scalping is illegal in Kentucky. Louisville Metro Police Spokesman Dwight Mitchell said LMPD will have a presence near the downtown arena, including plain clothes officers, to cite scalpers and confiscate tickets.

It is legal to resell a ticket for face value or less. 

Meanwhile, the University of Louisville has created a waiting list for fans interested in being seated with other Cardinal fans at NCAA games to be played in Portland, Oregon on Thursday.  Portland tickets are still available to the general public. A full package (three sessions) ranges from $198-$243 per person.

No travel packages are being offered for U of L or Indiana University games in Portland, but Anthony Travel is offering to book hotels and flights for fans.

Round trip flights between Louisville and Portland average about $800.  Most hotels in Portland are sold out, but $112 per night rooms are still available at a Quality Inn in downtown Portland a few blocks from the venue.  $238 per night rooms are available at an Embassy Suites about five miles from the games, according to an Anthony Travel agent.

Local basketball fans can attend a free practice session at the KFC Yum! Center on Wednesday, from noon to 7:30pm.