These Are the Best Places to Live If You Love March Madness

Updated on November 12th, 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes


The official bracket has been released and we’re ready to kick off March Madness! It’s the time of year for office pools, alma mater pride and the chance to impress the world with your basketball knowledge (or incredible luck depending on how you view gambling). About 40 million Americans fill out a bracket and bet more than $2 billion on the assumption that they can pick and choose teams better than anybody else. But where are the best places to live during the event?

Since buying a home is about more than what’s in between the four walls you purchased, Redfin decided to look at attributes that would make cities more fun for March Madness fanatics. We considered:

  • Hosting NCAA Tournament Games: There’s nothing like live action, and cities that have hosted more regional games and Final Fours were rewarded.
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances: Cities that had nearby teams frequently participating in the postseason were ranked higher.
  • Final Four Teams: Let’s face it, everybody loves a winner.
  • Bars in City: There are so many games going on at once, so it helps having many bars around to see as many games as possible.
  • Avg. Home Price: Where can fans live affordably?

The results were surprising. Cities with traditional powerhouses nearby, such as Philadelphia (Villanova Wildcats), Louisville (Louisville Cardinals), Lexington (Kentucky Wildcats) and Los Angeles (UCLA Bruins) all cracked the top 10, powered by their historic tournament runs and frequency of tournament games hosted. Affordable areas in the midwest also did very well, with Milwaukee (Marquette Golden Eagles), Cincinnati (Cincinnati Bearcats) Indianapolis (Butler Bulldogs) and Dayton (Dayton Flyers) beating out the rest of the field due to their affordability and number of bars. Syracuse (Syracuse Orange) and Arizona (Arizona Wildcats) rounded out the top 10 thanks to their rich basketball history and relative affordability compared to the rest of the tournament teams and cities. So, while the madness is about to get underway, jump over to our Facebook and Twitter pages and let us know what you think of the list!

These are the 10 best cities for March Madness fanatics to live in:

1 Philadelphia, PA (Villanova Wildcats)

Number of NCAA Tournaments Hosted (city): 28
NCAA Tournament Appearances (team): 36
Final Fours Played (team): 4
Bars in City: 1,065
Avg. Home Price: $173,000

2. Louisville, KY (Louisville Cardinals)

Number of NCAA Tournaments Hosted (city):  15
NCAA Tournament Appearances (team): 42
Final Fours Played (team): 10
Bars in City: 301
Avg. Home Price: $180,000

3. Los Angeles, CA (UCLA Bruins)

Number of NCAA Tournaments Hosted (city): 14
NCAA Tournament Appearances (team): 46
Final Fours Played (team): 17
Bars in City: 2,732
Avg. Home Price: $700,000

4. Milwaukee, WI (Marquette Golden Eagles)

Number of NCAA Tournaments Hosted (city): 8
NCAA Tournament Appearances (team): 32
Final Fours Played (team): 3
Bars in City: 811
Avg. Home Price: $108,000

5. Cincinnati, OH (Cincinnati Bearcats)

Number of NCAA Tournaments Hosted (city): 4
NCAA Tournament Appearances (team): 31
Final Fours Played (team): 6
Bars in City: 641
Avg. Home Price: $140,000

6. Dayton, OH (Dayton Flyers)

Number of NCAA Tournaments Hosted (city): 31
NCAA Tournament Appearances (team): 18
Final Fours Played (team): 1
Bars in City: 1,193
Avg. Home Price: $95,000

7. Syracuse, NY (Syracuse Orange)

Number of NCAA Tournaments Hosted (city): 11
NCAA Tournament Appearances (team): 35
Final Fours Played (team): 6
Bars in City: 133
Avg. Home Price: $88,600

8. Lexington, KY (Kentucky Wildcats)

Number of NCAA Tournaments Hosted (city): 22
NCAA Tournament Appearances (team): 56
Final Fours Played (team): 17
Bars in City: 122
Avg. Home Price: $259,000

9. Indianapolis, IN (Butler Bulldogs)

Number of NCAA Tournaments Hosted (city): 24
NCAA Tournament Appearances (team): 15
Final Fours Played (team): 2
Bars in City: 511
Avg. Home Price: $135,000

10. Tucson, AZ (Arizona Wildcats)

Number of NCAA Tournaments Hosted (city): 17
NCAA Tournament Appearances (team): 32
Final Fours Played (team): 4
Bars in City: 235
Avg. Home Price: $225,000

Methodology: Only 2017 NCAA Tournament teams were considered. The NCAA data was taken from the following pages: NCAA Tournament games hosted, NCAA Tournament Appearances and NCAA Final Four data. Vacated Final Four and postseason appearances were not counted (i.e. Michigan’s Fab Five vacated-tournament run). Bars in city was pulled from Yelp’s API, and Home Prices were from’s “average list price” on the city page. The final ranking was determined by ranking all 2017 NCAA Tournament teams according to each metric, and then taking the average of all those rankings to rank order the 10 best cities for March Madness fans.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

Jon Whitely

Jon writes about real estate and works with journalists and agents across the country. He previously worked at an advertising and PR agency in Madison, helping the world understand why every pizza needs Wisconsin Cheese. His dream home would have a water slide in the master bedroom to make getting out of bed a splash. Redfin is a full-service real estate brokerage that uses modern technology to make clients smarter and faster. For more information about working with a Redfin real estate agent to buy or sell a home, visit our Why Redfin page.

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