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The numbers that really make the NCAA tournament work

March 19, 2015

The NCAA men's basketball  tournament really gets going Thursday with 16 games on the schedule, following "First Four" games on Tuesday and Wednesday. The tourney culminates in Indianapolis on April 6.

Here’s a quick look at the numbers, other than basketball scores, that make the tournament work.

— $989 million - The Indianapolis-based NCAA’s total revenue in fiscal 2014, most of which is redistributed to its members through scholarship funds, grants, student assistance, and payouts for NCAA basketball tournament performance. Revenue has grown for 14 straight years.

— $195 - Cheapest resale ticket listing for the April 6 final in Indianapolis, according to aggregator TiqIQ.com. The most expensive listing is $4,061. The package that includes the semifinals runs from $425-$11,600.

— $56,937 - Size of the bonus earned by Purdue University coach Matt Painter when the Boilermakers finished tied for third in the Big Ten regular-season standings. Painter’s incentive-heavy contract includes as much as $332,137 in tournament bonuses depending on how far Purdue advances.

— $140.7 million - Total athletic revenue at the University of Texas, making the Longhorns the richest department in the tournament (and the country), according to annual data submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.

— $6.75 million - Total athletic revenue at North Florida, the least of the tournament’s 68 teams. The Ospreys lost Wednesday night to Robert Morris University.

— $24.2 million - Profit turned by Louisville’s revenue-juggernaut men’s basketball team in fiscal 2014, the most of the tournament teams. The Cardinals’ basketball program generated $40.6 million in revenue, about $11 million more than No. 2 Syracuse.

— $2.22 million - The West Virginia basketball team’s deficit, one of just two in the tournament that reported a loss of at least seven figures in fiscal 2014. Notre Dame ($2 million loss) was the other.

— $0 - Amount Kentucky coach John Calipari will earn in on-court bonuses if the top-seeded Wildcats complete a perfect 40-0 season with an NCAA championship. All the performance bonuses were removed from Calipari’s contract in July when he signed a new deal that guarantees him an average of $7.55 million over each of the next seven years.

— $1.96 million - The average annual raise that Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie negotiated after leading the Huskies to the 2014 NCAA title. Ollie, whose team failed to qualify for the 2015 tournament, added an extra year and salary boost to a five-year contract signed just one year earlier.

— $700 million - Amount of money the NCAA was paid last year as part of it’s 14-year rights deal with CBS Corp. and Time Warner Inc.’s Turner Sports. That’s 70 percent of the organization’s total 2014 revenue.

— $1.5 million - The cost of a 30-second ad in this year’s NCAA title game, same as last year. The event ranks third after the Super Bowl ($4.5 million) and the NFL’s conference title games ($1.8 million). About $1.13 billion was spent on ads for the 2014 tournament.

— $255,379 - Size of this year’s “tournament unit.” The NCAA pays conferences one unit for each non-championship tournament game its members played in the past six years. That means each game played in this year’s tournament will eventually be worth at least $1.53 million for its conference, paying out over the next six years. Most conferences divide that money evenly among all members, including the ones with bad basketball teams.

— $3,000 - Amount the NCAA will provide the family of players who compete in the semifinals of the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The pilot program, announced in January, covers two parents or legal guardians per player, and includes an extra $1,000 if their son or daughter plays in the title game.

— $12 billion - Amount expected to be wagered internationally on the three-week tournament, according to handicapping website Pregame.com. Less than 1 percent of that total will be bet in Nevada, the only U.S. state where betting on individual games is legal.

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