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NCAA Tournament Tickets: Tips and Terminology

Published Mar 18, 2014 / by Keith Hanson / Discussing NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament

2013 Final Four at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA
2013 Final Four in Atlanta, GA (CC)

How Do I Buy Tickets For a Single Game?

Don't want to sit through the Arizona/Weber State blowout? Just wanna go for Gonzaga vs. Oklahoma State? Unfortunately, you can't do this until the Elite 8. All tickets are sold as sessions until the later rounds.

A session is a group of games in one arena on the same day. The arena does not empty in between games in a session. Instead, your session ticket is good for all games in that session. You can leave whenever you'd like, but you can not come and go as you please.

  • In the Round of 64 (round 2), sessions are two (2) game blocks - each venue has two sessions on their first day of hosting
  • In the Round of 32 (round 3), sessions are two (2) game blocks and are listed as Session 3
  • In the Sweet 16 of the Regionals, Session 1 is a two (2) game block
  • In the Elite 8 of the Regionals, Session 2 is a single game

Confused already? Just buy an All Sessions ticket and you'll have access to all games at that site.

Note: Full Strip is the same as All Sessions

What is a Bracelet?

Because the arenas empty between sessions that are on the same day, a bracelet is your "ticket" and allows you to stay in the arena while everyone else leaves. Most venues will distribute bracelets if you have an All Sessions ticket.

What are Flash Seats?

In a nutshell, Flash Seats are tickets that are not paper in any way, shape or form. Your ticket is electronically tied to your Credit Card or Driver's License. You will swipe your card or license at the door of the event and not have to worry about paper tickets.

The most frequent complaint about Flash Seats is the difficulty in selling or transferring if you can't make the event.

What Does Local Pickup Mean?

Local Pickup is a term that applies to most events -- not just the NCAA Tournament. It simply means that you will pick your tickets up on gameday at a location near the stadium. Most locations are within walking distance of the venue -- either right outside or in the parking lots.

After you purchase tickets, the seller will communicate with you and let you know where you can pick-up your tickets.

While Local Pickup sounds a lot like Craigslist, it is quite the opposite. If you purchase tickets from one of's partners, your purchase comes with a 100%+ money-back guarantee for fraudulent and un-delivered tickets.

2014 NCAA Tournament Venues