Thanks to a win over the Louisville Cardinals, the Michigan State Spartans men’s basketball team will be playing in front of a home crowd in the NCAA Tournament Final Four Saturday, April 4 at Ford Field in Detroit. Hometown pride might not only help the Spartans succeed, it’s sure to boost ticket sales. And that’s good news for the secondary market.

Clearly, having Michigan State in the Final Four – MSU is in East Lansing, an 86-mile jaunt to Detroit down I-96 – is worth a bump in ticket prices. Sean Pate of StubHub told TicketNews that the team’s appearance in the tourney has already increased ticket prices sold on “…by almost $40. The average price jumped from $399 on Friday to $437 today (Monday).”

Despite the quick jump in prices, tickets for this year’s Final Four, overall, are selling for significantly less than in recent years, primarily due to the economy.

“This Final Four is still a bargain. Overall, it’s the least expensive Final Four we’ve seen since we began tracking on 2005,” he said, adding that the average ticket price is about $150 less than last year.

As of this morning, March 30, the company’s Web site showed prices from $107 to $11,428 for the title game. A strip ticket – the semis and the final – ranged from $367 to $8,640, but Pate said the lower priced tickets are mostly gone. “As we speak, there’s nothing left less than $400.”

RazorGator’s prices for the semis and final go from $345 to $5,328, while TicketNews’s parent company TicketNetwork listed tickets ranging from between $310 and $5,184.

CNBC had reported that this year’s Final Four location and venue “…were looking like a disaster.” Detroit’s economic woes have been detailed extensively, while Ford Field’s capacity for hoops action is more than 70,000 – a glut of tickets being a potential problem. MSU’s appearance in the Final Four is likely to mitigate both issues.

Pate told TicketNews that “Buyers from 44 states have purchased tickets for the Final Four, the largest demo naturally in Michigan,” adding that “people who bought tickets before this past weekend are looking pretty smart right now!”