Gamecock fans dropping big bucks on Final Four trips

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — The USC men’s basketball team advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA College Basketball Tournament for the first time in school history with a win over Florida on Sunday.

While the team rests in Columbia, fans are hard at work buying tickets and booking flights to Phoenix for this weekend.

“They advanced and I advanced,” said John Wright. “My nephew gave me tickets for the game for both nights. I’m going out there Friday, and I’ll be back on Tuesday.”

Other fans bought their tickets before the final seconds on the clock ran out Sunday.

“I was watching the game at Biergarten last night and as soon as we won I booked my ticket,” said Fred Davis. “I didn't think about flight costs or travel costs. I was so excited that USC was in the Final Four that I didn't care so I bought my ticket.”

“I was thinking how could I not buy this ticket,” echoed Jacob Bradford. “Again, this was a crazy thing, never happened before, and I was thinking I have to be there in person to see it.”

Bradford and Davis spent $464 on tickets to the game against Gonzaga set for 6:09 p.m. Saturday.

That was just the ticket price, though.

“I looked at flights out of Charleston, and I saw an astronomical number,” said Davis. “$1000 to fly out of Charleston. I thought about flying out of Atlanta and Charlotte and those were $800.”

So he sold his ticket to a friend, but other fans are flying into nearby cities and driving the rest of the way.

“I decided to fly into Tucson because immediately upon booking the rates shot up $600-$700 to fly into Phoenix,” said Wright.

For the rest stuck at home, you’ll find comfort with fellow fans on game day.

“I’m disappointed,” said Davis of his decision to sell his ticket. “I want to witness this history that the Gamecocks are making. However, I guess I’ll be joined by my friends at a bar here in Charleston.”

“Just two words: Go Cocks,” added Bradford.

The championship game is set for Monday.

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