Brackets are filled out, bets are placed and pools are made. It’s officially March Madness. While most are eager to earn bragging rights for their favorite teams, the universities are eager for the money they earn from joining the 68-team field. For the next couple of weeks, teams will be putting it all on the line in order to advance, and the NCAA couldn’t be happier.
Think you know all there is to know in the world of college hoops?
Here are 10 things you may not know about the NCAA Tournament:
1) Over 90 percent of the NCAA operating budget comes solely from this tournament. That is, 90 percent of the NCAA’s $797 million projected revenue for the year. While they do share that revenue with each conference participating in the tournament, there’s no denying that it is a lucrative event for all participating. Everyone makes out just fine, which is more than I can say for BCS bowl games.
2) The Kansas Jayhawks are making their 24th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, which is the longest active streak.
3) Speaking of streaks, a 16 seed has never beat a 1 seed in the history of the tournament. That means their record against 1 seeds is 0-112.
4) The tournament will cost companies $134 million in lost wages over the opening two days (March 21 and 22). This is because 3 million employees are estimated to spend 1-3 hours checking scores and watching games throughout the day instead of working. Some people will use vacation days in order to take off and watch. That’s commitment.
5) While some coaches will make out pretty well this year, one coach is missing out. Kentucky head coach John Calipari, whose Wildcats were crowned champions just last year, missed the tournament this year, costing the head coach a $700,000 bonus. Oh yeah, they lost in the first round of the NIT this year. Maybe it’s time for a salary cut …
6) But coaches also make a pretty penny. Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean received $25,000 for just getting his team to the tournament, and for each additional win, that number increases with the potential to make over half a million dollars if his Hoosiers win it all this year.
7) It’s likely that at least one 2 seed won’t make it through the first weekend. Only once in the last 16 years have all four of the 2 seeds made it to the Sweet 16. No pressure.
8) Bad news for Creighton, Notre Dame, Illinois and San Diego State: a 7 seed has never reached the championship game.
9) Ten teams are looking for their first NCAA tournament win. Only one of those teams, Florida Gulf Coast, is making its first appearance.
10) All of this talk is over a tournament that cost the NCAA just $2,531 when they bought it in 1940. Who would have ever thought it would become such a profitable event?
Talk about a great investment.
Bill “No Pay” Fay has lived a meager financial existence his entire life. He started writing/bragging about it in 2012, helping birth Debt.org into existence as the site’s original “Frugal Man.” Prior to that, he spent more than 30 years covering the high finance world of college and professional sports for major publications, including the Associated Press, New York Times and Sports Illustrated. His interest in sports has waned some, but he is as passionate as ever about not reaching for his wallet. Bill can be reached at [email protected].