Harvard Basketball has made it to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1946. For those of you who just can't miss the opportunity to see the Crimson play in person, Flyby is here to provide you with travel plans.
First things first. Harvard will play Vanderbilt in Albuquerque, N.M. on Thursday, March 15, with tipoff scheduled for 2:40 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time (4:40 p.m. Eastern Standard Time). If victorious, the Crimson will play the winner of the Wisconsin vs. Montana contest on March 17. Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight games will be played in Boston on March 22 and 24.
Assuming you're flying, you're in the market for a departure on March 14 and a return on March 18. This affords you the opportunity to spend Saturday night either celebrating in the saloons of the Wild West or crying in your hotel room. A pessimist may want to purchase a one-way ticket now and buy a return after Thursday's game, but for those of you who are confident in Harvard's prowess or just don't mind spending a couple days touring Albuquerque (stay tuned for an upcoming Flyby post about things to do while there), a roundtrip ticket will do just fine.
According to priceline.com, the cheapest and most convenient outbound ticket leaves Boston at 4:50 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14 and arrives in Albuquerque at 10:50 p.m. after a layover in Dallas (American Airlines 1747/657), but only three seats remain! The least expensive return option leaves the desert sands of Albuquerque at 9:40 a.m. on March 18 and arrives in Boston after a layover in Phoenix at 7:27 a.m., just in time for Monday classes (US Airways 530/226). The optimal combination is currently $871.20 after taxes, which certainly isn't the cheapest option.
Alternatively, for those of you who prefer to take the scenic route, Greyhound offers a one-way ticket to Albuquerque for $217.80, if you make your purchase online. The bus leaves South Station at 1:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. Factoring in transfers in New York and St. Louis, you'll arrive at 6:35 a.m. on Thursday. Unfortunately, you're a little too late for Amtrak. The last train left this morning at 11:55 a.m.
You could also drive. Google Maps gives the distance of this ten-state tour as 2,260 miles, drivable in 1 day and 13 hours at a cool average of just over 61 mph. Assuming the national average of $3.79 per gallon and fuel efficiency in a ZipCar Ford Focus of 35 miles per gallon, that comes to $490 for fuel roundtrip. Still not cheap, but if you find the right parking lot, hotel is optional.
Or, you could also just watch the game on TV.