By Ryan Velez
At the conclusion of this year’s NCAA Tournament, the ACC has much to celebrate. Even though only one team, North Carolina, managed to make it to the Sweet Sixteen, this same team also managed to win it all in the Championship Game. Celebrity Net Worth reports that Roy Williams and the Tarheels’ success this year, combined with the conference’s success in the tournament the previous two years, are going to make for quite a payday: $100 million over the last three years.
To understand how exactly so much money is made, one needs to look to how exactly profits for the NCAA breaks down. The whole NCAA has a basketball fund that comprises of the money made on the tournament’s television deal with Turner and CBS. This deal is quite lucrative, with an average of $771 million per year through 2024, then leaping to $1.1 billion per year in 2032. The nature of the fund is to reward conferences that do well in the tournament. Each game played, with the exception of the final game, is worth one unit. ACC teams have earned 64 of these units over the past three tournaments, which is far ahead of the second place holder, the Big Ten. Their 47 units will bring in a total of about $75 million.
In this year’s tournament, each game is worth $264,859, which is then paid out over each of the next six years (until 2023). The value of each unit will increase each year of the payout by about three percent per year, and for the ACC’s 18 units, they will make $30.6 million over the next six years. This will be a major milestone for the ACC, being the first conference to hit the $30 million mark for one tournament in 2015. The ACC also earned a record 25 units last year, when both UNC and Syracuse made the Final Four. In addition to this, Miami and Duke reached the Sweet 16, and Virginia and Notre Dame made it to the Elite 8.
One thing to note is that despite this huge payout, the distribution will be handed out equally. This means that the $6.8 million UNC will make is the same as conference mate Boston College, who hasn’t had a winning season in six years. However, this is also notable due to how important it can be for small conferences to have a team that wins multiple games in the tournament, like Gonzaga for the WCC this year.