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Tickets for UB’s big game will be hard to come by

The University at Buffalo Bulls are going to the dance, and they’re taking at least a few hundred of their most loyal hoops fans with them.

Consistent with NCAA guidelines, UB was given an allotment of only 550 tickets for the team’s first tournament game, at 2:10 p.m. Friday in Columbus’s Nationwide Arena, according to UB officials. With first priority being given to the school’s donors and corporate partners, the university’s Alumni Arena ticket office was taking people’s requests by phone or in person starting at 10 a.m. Monday.

The ticket office phone number is (877) UB-THERE (828-4373).

“I know there’s been a steady stream of calls,” Jon Fuller, assistant athletic director for communications, said Monday morning.

Any available tickets will be sold at $100 apiece in the lower level and $76 in the upper level, Fuller added.

Tickets bought on the secondary market no doubt will be more expensive.

A quick check of StubHub, at mid-morning, showed 642 tickets available for sale for the Friday afternoon doubleheader, featuring UB-West Virginia and Maryland-Valparaiso.

The bottom line: If you want to buy on the secondary market, it’s probably going to cost more than $100 per seat for that afternoon doubleheader.

The StubHub asking prices for those tickets ranged from $96.88 to $1,160.80 per ticket. But that’s a bit misleading, since only one pair of tickets had an asking price over $600 per seat.

Slightly more than half the available tickets had an asking price between $100 and $150, while another third listed prices between $150 and $200.

Still, the proximity of the four schools in the Friday afternoon doubleheader suggests that that may become a hotter ticket. All four schools are within a day’s drive. Buffalo is about 325 driving miles from Columbus, while Morgantown, W. Va. is only about 205.

Monday’s Columbus Dispatch newspaper also referred to the compelling story line in the UB-West Virginia game, noting that West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, “a college basketball icon with deep Ohio roots,” has ties to UB coach Bobby Hurley.

“Of those four games at Nationwide, none will have more hype than the matchup between Huggins and Bobby Hurley, the former Duke star who has led No. 12 Buffalo (23-9) to its first NCAA tournament in his second season as Bulls coach,” the newspaper wrote. “Huggins, 61, brings enough story lines himself to fill a Russian novel, with his Ohio ties preceding 1992 when he coached Cincinnati to the Final Four – where Duke won the national title with its feisty point guard, Hurley.”

Game on.