The 2016-17 college basketball season is officially here, and what better way to begin the year than at The World's Most Famous Arena? Madison Square Garden welcomes the Champions Classic and 2K Classic this week, and there is a strong demand for tickets to both early-season tournaments on the secondary market.
Tuesday night will showcase the 2016 Champions Classic, which runs in a doubleheader format and will feature Kentucky vs. Michigan State and Duke vs. Kansas. With both games being accessible under one ticket, the average resale price for Champions Classic tickets on TicketIQ is now $516. That easily makes it the most expensive Champions Classic since 2011, when the tournament began. If looking just to get past the gates at MSG on Tuesday the cheapest tickets are now listed from $105 each.
As for the 2K Classic, the annual tournament will hit Madison Square Garden for two separate nights on Thursday and Friday. The Semifinals on Thursday will feature a doubleheader between Pittsburgh and SMU and Michigan and Marquette. The two winners of those respective games will advance to the Championship Game on Friday while the two losers will play in the Consolation Game, also held on Friday.
Unlike the Champions Classic, fans must purchase individual tickets for access to the Semifinals and Championship Game/Consolation Game. As it stands now the average resale price for 2K Classic tickets on the secondary market is $100 for the Semifinal games on Thursday. making it the third most expensive Semifinals since 2011. The Championship Game/Consolation Game will be the cheapest since 2012, however, as tickets are averaging just $70 across both games.
2K Classic tickets on Ticketmaster are still available in the days leading up to tip-off. Semifinals tickets can be found from $30 each in the lower bowl of Madison Square Garden. For those looking for tickets to the Championship Game and/or Consolation Game the following day, tickets can found in the lower bowl for as low as $15 each.
Kentucky brings a two-year win streak to the Champions Classic after taking down Kansas and Duke in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Of the four participating teams, Kansas owns the longest victory drought, last winning against Duke in 2013. Of the four semifinalists at the 2K Classic, Pittsburgh is the only team to have claimed a 2K Classic championship since the tournament's inception in 1995. The Panthers last won the 2K Classic in 2010, defeating Texas by two points.