Based on the profits and numbers from the previous season, there’s one change to the top 10 most valuable college basketball programs in 2013, with Duke falling out and Michigan State heading in instead, while Louisville, Kansas and North Carolina composite the same (in slightly different order) top 3 from last year.
The Big Ten, with Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Indiana, has four teams in the top 10; the Pac-12, with Arizona, has only one; the Big East, with Syracuse and Louisville (both leaving to the ACC) have two; the Big 12, with Kansas, has only one; the SEC, with Kentucky has one; and the ACC, represented by North Carolina, has one as well.
Michigan State Spartans – $17.3 Million
The Spartans finished the regular season with a 13-5 record, good enough for a shared second spot in the Big Ten, giving them a number 3 seed in the Midwest regional. They put up a profit of $9.4 million last year, and a 21% one-year change in value. Tour package sales for last year’s inaugural Carrier Classic against UNC was a boon for the team, as was increased revenue from contributions, conference distributions and additional ticket sales for three more home games than the previous season.
Syracuse Orange – $19.2 Million
The orange keep their ninth spot from last year and will be a number 4 seed in the NCAA tournament after an 11-7 season in the Big East and losing in the conference tournament final. They made a profit of $11.7 million through the program, with an 8% one-year change in value, as they head into the ACC next season. Playing in this year’s Carrier Classic will help the numbers next year as well.
Arizona Wildcats – $19.5 Million
The wildcats are one of only two teams in the top 15, along with UCLA, to have increased team revenue by more than $2 million year-over-year thanks in part to increased contributions. They made a profit of $12.4 million and are the most valuable team in the Pac-12. They finished second in the conference with a 12-6 record, losing in the semifinal of the conference tournament.
Wisconsin Badgers – $19.8 Million
The Badgers had a great season in a stacked Big Ten, finishing with a 12-6 record and reaching the conference tournament final, earning a #5 seed to the NCAA tournament. They made a $11.5 million profit last year, enjoying a 15% one-year change in value. It’s their 15th consecutive appearance in the national tournament.
Indiana Hoosiers – $21.8 Million
The popular choice for best team in the nation, although this year is really too tight to call. Indiana won the regular season title in the Big Ten for the first time since 2002 on their way back to the elite of College Basketball. They made a profit of $14.4 million last season, although did see a drop of 6% in the program’s value, with the unexpected growth in expenses being a bit of a surprise last season.
Ohio State Buckeyes – $23.1 Million
Came very close to win the conference title for the sixth time in eight years, finishing behind Indiana, but winning the Big Ten tournament, earning a number 2 seed in the big dance. They made a profit of $13.6 million last season, helping the Ohio State athletic department provide $4.3 million to academic endeavors last year, the most of any Big Ten school.
Kentucky Wildcats – $32.1 Million
For the first time since 2009, the Wildcats won’t be in the NCAA tournament, hurt by an injury to their star Freshman Nerlens Noel. They made a $19.9 million basketball profit, enjoying a 31% one-year change in value thanks to winning the national title in 2012, and leading college basketball in average home attendance for the seventh straight year helped the Wildcats claim the biggest growth in value of any team on the list.
North Carolina Tar Heels – $32.8 Million
The Tar Heels didn’t have the greatest of seasons, but were thankful to make it into the tournament after so many key players left in 2012. Three additional home games and an injection of new conference money via the ACC’s TV deal with ESPN helped the Tar Heels to a 11% surge in basketball revenue. They made a profit of $19.9 million.
Kansas Jayhawks – $32.9 Million
Kansas won the double of the Big 12 for the third time in four years, earning a number one seed for their ongoing domination in the Big 12. They made a profit of $19.9 million off the basketball program, seeing a 17% rise in value from the previous year, aided by the fact that they made the final four and the national final; despite rising expenses, Kansas took home $12 million in ticket sales and generated another $5.6 million for the Big 12 from its 23 tournament games played over the last six seasons, the most of any team.
Louisville Cardinals – $38.5 Million
Louisville won both Big East titles for the first time since 2009, earning the overall number one seed heading into the NCAA tournament, and are on top of the rankings of the money charts for a second consecutive year. Their relatively new arena helped them make $20.4 million in contributions last year, largely responsible for making the Cardinals the most profitable team in college basketball. In fact, Lousiville’s $24.6 million in team profit was larger than all but four other teams’ total revenue last year.