Forbes Lists College Basketball’s 20 Most Valuable Teams

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Louisville Most Valuable

Forbes’ annual college basketball value rankings are out and they are… interesting, especially with Louisville coming in at number one for the fourth straight year. I would expect to see them high on the list, but not above Kentucky, Kansas, and maybe a couple others. Then again, Louisville has been one of the best two or three programs in the country over the last four years, and they play in that monster, relatively new KFC Yum! Center courtesy of Yum! Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and more. I’m pretty sure Yum! funds the entire university, if not the whole town, actually. I like to imagine Yum! is to Louisville what Sweetums is to Pawnee, Indiana. It feels right.

Here are the top 20 most valuable college basketball programs in the country and their total value:

1. Louisville Cardinals, $38.3 million
2. Kansas Jayhawks, $35.4 million
3. Kentucky Wildcats, $31.5 million
4. Arizona Wildcats, $28.5 million
5. North Carolina Tar Heels, $27.7 million
6. Syracuse Orange, $26.8 million
7. Ohio State Buckeyes, $25.4 million
8. Indiana Hoosiers, $25.3 million
9. Duke Blue Devils, $22 million
10. Wisconsin Badgers, $20.3 million
11. Tennessee Volunteers, $18.7 million
12. Michigan State Spartans, $16.6 million
13. Illinois Fighting Illini, $14.5 million
14. Alabama Crimson Tide, $12.3 million
15. Marquette Golden Eagles, $12.2 million
16. Michigan Wolverines, $11.9 million
17. Arkansas Razorbacks, $11.6 million
18. Xavier Musketeers, $11.2 million
19. Northwestern Wildcats, $11 million
20. Missouri Tigers, $10.9 million

Clearly, on court success doesn’t necessarily equate to total value. For example, Northwestern has never made the NCAA tournament, Alabama is as historically good at basketball as Kristen Saban is at conflict resolution, and though Missouri is historically good, not great, they just went through a season so disastrous that Mizzou’s players should probably be included in that sad World Wildlife Fund slide show commercial about wild tigers being murdered by poachers.

[via Forbes]

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