FINALS WATCH: Ticket prices, Michigan's Fab Five

Associated Press
Charles Dawson of Lithonia, Ga., takes photos of his grandchildren  Christopher Wilder, 10, Justin Baxter, 13, second from right, and Cornelius Dawson, right, pose for a picture in front of the Georgia Dome during NCAA Final Four basketball festivities, Sunday, April 7, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)
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ATLANTA (AP) — Around the Final Four and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of everything surrounding the games.

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TICKET PRICES

Fans waiting until the last minute to buy NCAA championship game tickets are paying a steep price.

The average price for Monday night's game had soared to $455, according to TiqIQ.com, which tracks ticket trends. The company says that is a 140-percent increase over last year's final between Kentucky and Kansas in New Orleans.

At Ticketstub.com, prices for Monday night's game were starting at $330 about three hours before the game.

— Charles Odum — http://twitter.com/@CharlesOdum

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MICHIGAN'S FAB FIVE

One unanswered question at the Final Four: Will there be a reunion of Michigan's Fab Five?

Twenty years ago, the brash group of Michigan youngsters lost to North Carolina in the NCAA title game. This is Michigan's first trip back to the championship game.

Chris Webber's whereabouts are causing the most commotion. Jalen Rose went on a Grantland.com podcast and encouraged Webber to join him and other Fab Five players at Monday night's title game against Louisville, but it's not clear whether that will happen.

Michigan has been recovering from the fallout after a federal investigation revealed that a booster gave Webber and three non-Fab Five players more than $600,000 while they were student-athletes. The NCAA forced the school to dissociate from them until this year. The dissociation officially ends in May.

On Saturday, Webber tweeted "It's Your Time Now!" — along with a picture of current Michigan players Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III.

— Noah Trister — http://twitter.com/@noahtrister

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HISTORY FAVORS LOUISVILLE

Recent history favors No. 1 seed Louisville over No. 4 Michigan in Monday night's championship game.

Top seeds have won five of the last six finals against teams seeded fourth or lower. The only upset in that span came in 1997, when No. 4 Arizona beat top seed Kentucky, coached by Rick Pitino.

Older history provides more hope for Michigan. There were three upsets in the 1980s in finals between No. 1 seeds and teams seeded fourth or lower: North Carolina State over Houston in 1983, Villanova over Georgetown in 1985, and Kansas over Oklahoma in 1988.

— Charles Odum

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HAIL TO THE VICTORS

Michigan coach John Beilein attended the Final Four in 1989, when the Wolverines last won a national championship, and remembers one thing sticking out in his mind:

"Hail! to the victors valiant

Hail! to the conqu'ring heroes

Hail! Hail! to Michigan

The leaders and best!"

"I heard 'The Victors.' I heard the best fight song in the world," said Beilein, who was then a coach at Division II Le Moyne, and was attending the Final Four in Seattle with his wife, Kathleen.

"Kathleen and I looked at each other and said, 'This is the best fight song I have ever heard," Beilein recalled this week. "That's why it's so eerie to hear it today, that it ended up being my destination."

— Dave Skretta — http://twitter.com/@APdaveskretta

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RATINGS BONANZA

CBS is enjoying its best Final Four ratings since 2005.

The network announced it averaged a 9.4 fast-national rating and 15.7 million viewers for the national semifinals on Saturday night. That's an increase of about 4 percent from the 9.0 rating and 15.3 million viewers that watched last year's Final Four in New Orleans.

Wichita State and Louisville earned an 8.7 rating and 14.5 million viewers for their game at the Georgia Dome, while the nightcap recorded a 10.2 rating and 17.1 million viewers.

The Cardinals and Wolverines are playing in the championship game Monday night.

— Dave Skretta

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NCAA Finals Watch follows the Final Four games and all the activities surrounding the event as seen by journalists from The Associated Press from across Atlanta. It will be updated throughout the day with breaking news and other items of interest. Follow AP reporters on Twitter where available.

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