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2012 NCAA Tournament Elite 8 Schedule

2012 NCAA Tournament Elite 8After the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Games, the “Elite 8″ matchups are finally set!  The East, South, Midwest, and West regional finals will take place over the weekend on Saturday March 24th and Sunday March 25th, 2012.  The Elite 8 games are the regional finals which means the winners advance on to the NCAA Tournament Final Four.  The 2012 NCAA Tournament Final 4 will take place over two days at the Superdome in New Orleans Louisiana.  The national semifinals will occur on Saturday March 31st with the Championship game on Monday Night April 2nd.

So, here are your 2012 Elite 8:

  • North Carolina Tarheels
  • Ohio State Buckeyes
  • Syracuse Orange
  • Louisville Cardinals
  • Florida Gators
  • Kansas Jayhawks
  • Baylor Bears
  • Kentucky Wildcats

and here are the elite 8 matchups and bracket pairings…

NCAA East Regional Finals 3/24/2012 @ 7:05 PM

#1 Syracuse Orange vs #2 Ohio State Buckeyes

NCAA South Regional Finals 3/25/2012 @ 2:20 PM

#1 Kentucky Wildcats vs #3 Baylor Bears

NCAA Midwest Regional Finals 3/25/2012 @ 5:05 PM

#1 North Carolina Tarheels vs #2 Kansas Jayhawks

NCAA West Regional Finals 3/24/2012 @ 4:30 PM

#4 Louisville Cardinals vs #7 Florida Gators

 

 

2012 NCAA Sweet 16 Field Set

2012 Sweet 16 TeamsAfter a crazy weekend of college basketball, the “Sweet 16″ is now final (almost).  Although all four #1 seeds are still alive (Michigan State, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Syracuse), there were also plenty of upsets as two #2 seeds fell in the second round (Missouri and Duke).  Although the #15 seeds (Lehigh and Norfolk State) that beat those #2 seeds fell in the 3rd round, there are still plenty of “Cinderella Stories” to give the 24 hour news outlets plenty of story-lines.

The two biggest stories of the tournament thus far are the Ohio Bobcats and North Carolina State.  The Bobcats came in as a #13 seed and pull off a big upset of #4 Michigan and #12 South Florida.  Ohio will face #1 seeded North Carolina in the Midwest Regional on March 23rd at the Edward Jones Done in St. Louis.

NC State came into the tournament as an 11th seeded “bubble team”.  They certainly justified their selection by defeating #6 seed San Diego State and the #3 seeded Georgetown Hoyas.  The Wolfpack will face the #2 Kansas Jayhawks in the Midwest Regional as well.  Other unlikely teams to have made the sweet sixteen include the #10 Xavier Musketeers and the #7 Florida Gators.

2012 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Matchups

East Regional (Boston)

South Regional (Atlanta)

Midwest Regional (St. Louis)

West Regional (Phoenix)

2012 NCAA Tournament Schedule

Any veteran of marketing playoff and tournament tickets knows that prior preparation is essential.  However, unlike many other sports, tickets to the NCAA tournamentgo on sale long before the teams participating are announced.  Even further compounding marketing efforts is the fact that even for teams who are all but assured a spot in the NCAA Tournament field of 68, no one knows where they will be playing until the bracket is officially announced on “Selection Sunday”.

 
2012 NCAA Tournament TicketsWhile this presents a level of difficultly, it also represents a major opportunity since most fans wait to purchase tickets until after the match ups and locations are announced. While you can’t start marketing tickets to particular college basketball teams, you can start marketing to local fans of college basketball in general.

This year’s tournament is shaping up to be big in terms of ticket demand with some major college basketball hubs on the schedule.  The 2nd and 3rd round games in Pittsburgh, Louisville, Columbus, Nashville, and Greensboro are sure to be extremely popular regardless of which teams end up playing there.  The regionals are also in cities conducive to attracting college basketball fans from across the country.  In particular, the East Regional in Boston and the Southeast Regional in Atlanta should draw premium prices.  It also doesn’t hurt that the top teams in the country (Syracuse and Kentucky) are likely to end up the #1 seeds in each of these regions.

So with that in mind, here are some key dates and the official schedule of events for the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

Selection Sunday

March 11, 2012 – this is the busiest day of the year for college basketball tickets.  Be sure to set this Sunday aside to process the brackets and begin your team specific marketing campaigns.

First Round
March 13-14, 2012
UD Arena (Dayton, OH)

NCAA Tournament Second-Third Rounds
March 15, 17, 2012
Rose Garden (Portland, OR)
The Pit (Albuquerque, NM)
Consol Energy Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
KFC Yum! Center (Louisville, KY)

March 16, 18, 2012
Nationwide Arena (Columbus,OH)
Qwest Center Omaha (Omaha, NE)
Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, TN)
Greensboro, N.C. (Greensboro, NC)

NCAA Tournament East Regional
March 22, 24, 2012
TD Garden (Boston, MA)

NCAA Tournament Southwest Regional
March 22, 24, 2012
US Airway Center (Phoenix, AZ)

NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional
March 23, 25, 2012
Edward Jones Dome (St. Louis, MO)

NCAA Tournament Southeast Regional
March 23, 25, 2012
Georgia Dome (Atlanta, GA)

NCAA Tournament Final 4 (Semifinals)
March 31, 2012
Louisiana Superdome (New Orleans, LA)

NCAA Tournament Championship Game
April 2, 2012
Louisiana Superdome (New Orleans, LA)

Top Weekend Events 12/16/2011-12/18/2011

Tim Tebow vs Tom BradyIt’s Wednesday and that means it is time to take a look at the most popular events going on across the country this weekend.  With college football on a hiatus until the bowl games begin next week, NFL football is back to dominating the search results at Tickifieds.com.  Coming in at number 1 on the list is Tim Tebow’s Denver Broncos vs Tom Brady’s New England Patriots.  The ever polarizing Tim Tebow is 7-1 as a starter after he led yet another last minute comeback against the Chicago Bears.  The Broncos now have a 2 game lead over the Oakland Raiders (Denver owns the tie-breaker) in the AFC.  It seems as though Mr. Tebow has turned both fans and Bronco management into believers and ticket prices have absolutely sky-rocketed the past couple of weeks.

Coming in at #2 this week is the Monday Night matchup between two 10-3 teams, the San Francisco 49ers and Pittsburgh Steelers.  OK, so this game isn’t actually taking place this weekend but we thought it was important enough to include on this list as this game is shaping up to be a great one.  At #3, the 0-13 Indianapolis Colts will be looking to pick up their first win of the season against the Tennessee Titans.  While this game doesn’t sound all that exciting fans are gobbling up these very affordable tickets (under $15 a ticket).

The other NFL games on the list also have some nice story-lines generating heavy fan interest.  In Oakland, the Raiders and Lions will face off both badly needing a win to stay in the playoff hunt.  In Kansas City, the 13-0 Green Bay Packers will be looking to stay undefeated after their last road game of the year.  Lastly, the 7-6 Chicago Bears will be looking to keep their playoff hopes alive against the Seattle Seahawks.  However, fan interest in this game is likely due to a substantial drop in ticket prices following the loss of both Jay Cutler and Matt Forte.

Making the list at #6 is our first college basketball game:  NC State vs the #1 Syracuse Orange.  College basketball is king in North Carolina so it’s not much of a surprise that the #1 team in the nation coming to Raleigh is driving ticket demand.  As the conference play starts up expect college basketball tickets to frequently make the list of top events.

Pulling up the rear are a few non-sports events.  The Radio City Christmas Spectacular makes the list for the 3rd week  in a row with their sold out show in Nashville, Trans-siberian Orchestra’s Christmas performance in Tulsa on Friday night comes in at #9, while Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s critically acclaimed “The Book of Mormon” slides in at #10.

1. Denver Broncos vs New England Patriots 12/18/2011 Denver, CO
2. San Francisco 49ers vs Pittsburgh Steelers 12/19/2011 San Francisco, CA
3. Indianapolis Colts vs Tennessee Titans 12/18/2011 Indianapolis, IN
4. Oakland Raiders vs Detroit Lions 12/18/2011 Oakland, CA
5. Kansas City Chiefs vs Green Bay Packers 12/18/2011 Kansas City, MO
6. NC State vs Syracuse Basketball 12/17/2011 Raleigh, NC
7. Chicago Bears vs Seattle Seahawks 12/18/2011 Chicago, IL
8. Radio City Christmas Spectacular Tickets 12/16/2011 Nashville, TN
9. Trans-siberian Orchestra Concert 12/16/2011 Tulsa, OK
10. The Book of Mormon 12/18/2011 New York, NY

Tickifieds.com 2011-2012 College Basketball Rankings

Fab Melo of Syracuse University

The Syracuse Orange can be legitimate National Championship contenders if Fab Melo can live up to his enormous potential.

With the NBA Labor dispute threatening professional basketball, fans of the sport across the country are anxiously awaiting the start of the NCAA season.   Although it seems strange talking college hoops in October, Midnight Madness has already officially kicked off the start of the 2011-2012 College Basketball season across many college campuses. These first days of practice typically include a raucous pep rally featuring cheerleaders, loud music, and a slam dunk contest.  While this is mainly a publicity stunt, it also mean teams may officially begin practices for games which begin in early November.  With only a few week left until tip off, we have come up with rankings for the upcoming season.  Below are the Tickifieds.com Preseason Top 25 College Basketball teams.

1.  North Carolina Tarheels

The Tarheels are probably the most talented team in the nation as they will be returning several stars from last season.  Point guard Kendall Marshall should benefit by beginning the season as a starter.  Throw in freshman 5-star prospects James McAdoo and PJ Hairston to the front court and North Carolina could be scary good.

2.  Kentucky Wildcats

Perhaps no one recruited a better freshman class than John Calipari.  The Wildcats will feature four 5-star prospects including Anthony Davis, Mike Gilchrist, Marquis Teague and Kyle Wiltjer. If the fantastic freshman can gel with veterans Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb, the could be one of the best college basketball teams in UK history.  Until we  see them in action, we have to put them at #2.

3.  The Ohio State Buckeyes

College Player of the Year Jared Sullinger will be back for his sophomore year and has the Buckeyes in contention for a national title.  Although Ohio State doesn’t have the depth of UNC or Kentucky, they will be returning Aaron Craft and William Buford to go along with another solid recruiting class.

4.  Syracuse Orange

We are going to go out on a bit of a limb and project Syracuse at #4.  This young and talented team has an impressive backcourt trio with Scoop Jardine, Brandon Triche and Dion Waiters.  If Fab Melo and Freshman Rakeem Christmas develop to their potential they could be real scary.

5.  Duke Blue Devils

The Blue Devils lost a lot of talent from last year but, as usual, have quickly reloaded with incoming freshman Austin Rivers, Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins set to take over.  They may take a while to get things going but there certainly will not be a lack of talent.

6.  Vanderbilt Commodores

After bowing out of the NCAA Tournament in the first round, Vandy will be looking for revenge.  With arguably one of the most experienced teams in the nation the Commodores should be strong with  Jeffery Taylor, John Jenkins and Festus Ezeli all returning.

7.  Memphis Tigers

Memphis made some noise last year but their inexperience showed last season.  With more experience under their belt, Josh Pastner’s squad could finally get to a Final Four with a nice mix of returning players and some exciting freshman.

8.  Louisville Cardinals

Although the Cardinals lost guard Preston Knowles, just about everyone else will be back.  Lousiville will also add 2 top 35 recruits in Chane Behanan and Wayne Blackshear.

9.  Florida Gators

The Gators certainly lost some frontcourt depth from last year but they return 2 of the most unappreciated guards in the country Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton.  If transfer Mike Rosario and 5-star recruit Brad Beal live up to potential, Florida could battle Kentucky and Vanderbilt for the SEC title.

10.  Pittsburgh Panthers

The Panthers are a bit of a sleeper pick but any team with Ashton Gibbs certainly has a shot.  Pittsburgh has solid chemistry with lots of returning players and a very nice recruiting class.  This team could get out of the gates quickly.

The rest of the top 25….

11.  Connecticut Huskies

12. Baylor Bears

13. Kansas Jayhawks

14.  Wisconsin Badgers

15.  Xavier Musketeers

16.  Alabama Crimson Tide

17.  Arizona Wildcats

18. Michigan Wolverines

19.  Texas A&M Aggies

20.  UCLA Bruins

21.  Marquette Golden Eagles

22. Cincinnati Bearcats

23. Gonzaga Bulldogs

24. California Golden Bears

25.  Missouri Tigers