ACC on Track to Break Record for Most Money Earned in NCAA Tournament

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2016

Mar 25, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Nate Britt (0) and guard Marcus Paige (5) react during the second half in a semifinal game against the Indiana Hoosiers in the East regional of the NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The ACC's dominance in the 2016 NCAA tournament has the conference on track to break the record for the most money made in a single tourney.

According to's Darren Rovell, ACC teams have earned 23 "units," and that number will rise to 25 since the conference is guaranteed to have a pair of Final Four teams. That would surpass the mark of 24 set by the Big East in 2009.

ACC teams are 16-3 in the tournament, with North Carolina, Virginia, Notre Dame and Syracuse all in the title hunt. They and the rest of the ACC teams that qualified for the tournament are set to make the conference at least $39.9 million, according to Rovell.

The four ACC teams in the Elite Eight field matches the best performance by a conference in the history of the tournament, per ESPN:

No other conference came close to matching the ACC's success this postseason, per the Associated Press:

The ACC is already one of the power conference revenue kings thanks to its success on the basketball court and football field, but the performance of its teams in this NCAA tournament has it poised to reach even higher levels over the next six years.

According to Rovell, a single game in the NCAA tournament this year is worth $265,791, and that total will increase each year from 2017-2022, which will make a unit worth more than $1.59 million.

An ACC team is guaranteed to play in the national championship game since the entire right half of the bracket is made up of teams from college basketball's top power conference, though the NCAA's "basketball fund" does not award any units for the title tilt, per Rovell.

The Big 12 and Pac-12 both made cases to be considered the deepest and most talented conference in the sport over the course of the regular season, but the ACC has had much better results in the tournament—and will soon have the money to prove it.


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