David J. Phillip / AP
University of Louisville players work during practice Friday, April 5, in Atlanta for their NCAA Final Four college basketball semifinal game against Wichita State.
Your favorite player's number isn't the only one you'll need to know if you want to impress at Final Four viewing parties this weekend. About 100,000 fans are expected to flood into Atlanta from Saturday to Monday to cheer on college basketball's biggest stars. The Louisville Cardinals will face the Wichita State Shockers, and the Michigan Wolverines will come up against the Syracuse Orange.
The NCAA said it has trucked in an additional 18,218 additional seats to add to the 74,000-capacity Georgia Dome, from which face-painted spectators can peer down at the spankin' new $100,000 court.
Sure, you can scrape by reciting stats and recounting stunning moments from championship games past. But any sports fan worth his or her salt knows those. Here are the numbers you need to know what's really going on behind the scenes during the year's most anticipated weekend of college hoops:
2,700 — Feet scalpers are required to stay from the complex that includes the Georgia Dome in order to ply their trade under Peach State law. State regulations require that unofficial ticket-hawkers steer well clear of the Georgia World Congress Center, which includes the stadium.
29 — Inches the championship court is elevated above the stadium floor. The final team standing literally gets to take the field — it's given the option of taking the court home. If the national champion declines, the NCAA sells the court after the tournament.
32,942 — Amount in dollars on StubHub for a single ticket to view the semifinals and the championship from a posh suite. The average price tag for a semifinals seat in 2013 was an all-time high of $1,190, according to secondary-market aggregator TiqIQ.com.
315 — Lowest price in dollars for a single semifinals ticket on TicketLiquidator.com, for a seat way up in the Dome's stratosphere. Or luckless fans can try and strike a deal with those friendly scalpers lingering a few blocks from the stadium.
1,125 — Credentialed members of the pencil-pushing, camera-toting media who will be jostling for laptop real estate over the weekend. One of the most popular annual sporting events in the United States, the Big Dance's finale also draws in a sizable contingent of foreign media.
155,000 — Weight in pounds of the monster video board looming over the court, blowing the athletes to superhuman size. And so fans don't miss a single moment, 660 television monitors also dot walls throughout the stadium.
30 — Length in seconds of a campaign finance ad the Fair Elections for New York Campaign is planning to run during the Syracuse-Michigan matchup Saturday. (Also, approximate length of bathroom break fans will take during said ad.)
1904 — Year the school that would become Wichita State adopted the team nickname "Shockers," for the harvesting, or "shocking," of wheat that went on in fields not far from the school. The men's basketball team, then playing for what was known as Fairmount College, first took the court in 1906.
32,952 — Feet of soft drink supply lines that snake to drink dispensers through the stadium to provide sugary soda pop nectar to throats hoarse from rooting on the team. The 21-year-old Dome is better known for hosting football games, but it has been home to three previous Final Four matchups.
11,088 — Distance in feet that fans have to drive from the Dome to get a chili dog at Hotlanta's nearest Varsity drive-in restaurant. The chain's been dishing up slaw dogs and orange shakes for Atlanta customers since 1928.
1 — Ubiquitous hand gesture (the high-five) that Louisville claims was invented by its 1978-79 men's basketball team. That team, also known as the Doctors of Dunk, featured players Wiley Brown and Derek Smith, who allegedly came up with the celebratory slap. (Other sources claim Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke of the Los Angeles Dodgers invented the high-five during the 1977 baseball season.)
3.9 — Dollar amount, in millions, that Louisville coach Rick Pitino pulls down as his base salary. That makes him the biggest earner before performance bonuses of this year's Final Four coaches. It also explains those snazzy white suits.
1 — Television and six-pack of light beer required to enjoy the game in the comfort of one's own home.