According to ESPN, each college basketball game played in the 2016 NCAA Tournament is worth around $1.6 million for each team in the game for all the games until the championship game where no units are awarded. Here is a list of the college basketball conferences that have earned the most money so far in the 2016 NCAA Tournament through the Sweet 16 round.
The NCAA does not just payout the money for each game to each college basketball conference. Instead, the NCAA pays out a unit for each game for each of the next six years. So each unit this year is worth $265,971 and that’s how much will be paid out each year for the next six years which equals $1.6 million for each team in each game this year.
The most units ever earned by a single conference in the NCAA Tournament is 24 which the old Big East accomplished in 2009. The ACC could very well shatter that record in the 2016 NCAA Tournament as well as shatter its own record for the most money earned in a tournament by one conference. The ACC set that record last year at $32.8 million.
1. ACC – $30.4 million
The ACC has a record six teams in the Sweet 16 plus Pitt lost in the first round of the tournament. So the ACC has already picked up 13 units in 2016 and they will get at least six more as six teams are playing in the Sweet 16. That equals 19 units times $1.6 million per game which is $30.4 million.
That’s the minimum the ACC will get over the next six years for this year’s games. It’s likely some of the ACC teams will win in the Sweet 16 and earn the conference even more money as none of the ACC teams will face each other in the Sweet 16.
2. Big Ten – $24 million
Big Ten teams are 8-4 overall in the 2016 NCAA Tournament and three teams are still alive. That means the Big Ten will get payouts for at least 15 games times $1.6 million which equals $24 million.
3. Big 12 – $20.8 million
The Big 12 teams are 6-4 in the 2016 NCAA Tournament and three teams are still alive. So that’s 13 games minimum the Big 12 will get paid for which equals $20.8 million. Since there are only 10 teams in the Big 12, the money the conference earns goes further per team than in the other major college basketball conferences.
T-4. Pac-12 – $16 million
The Pac-12 is having a terrible NCAA Tournament as their teams are just 3-6 overall. Oregon is the only team still alive but that’s a guaranteed 10 games for $16 million in revenue at the least.
T-4. Big East – $16 million
Big East teams are 5-4 so far this season in the Big Dance but just one team is still alive in Villanova. So the Big East will get paid for at least 10 games for a total of $16 million. Like the Big 12, the Big East only has 10 teams so its money will go farther per team than most of the other conferences.
6. SEC – $9.6 million
SEC teams are 3-2 in the 2016 tournament and only Texas A&M is still alive. So the SEC will cash in on at least six games for a total of $9.6 million. Chump change for this college football dominated conference.
T-7. AAC – $8 million
The AAC had four teams in the 2016 NCAA Tournament but only UConn advanced to the second round where they lost. So the AAC cannot earn any more money above the $8 million they already have.
T-7. A-10 – $8 million
Dayton lost in the first round for the A-10 but VCU and St. Joe’s advanced to the second round where they both lost. So the A-10 will get paud for five games at $1.6 million for a total of $8
T-7. Missouri Valley – $8 million
The Missouri Valley conference got just two teams into the tournament but Wihcita State won its play-in game and then won in the first round too but lost in the second round. orthern Iowa won its first round game with a miracle half-point heave but lost in an impossible way to TEXAS A&M in round two. So this conference is done at five games for $8 million total.