What’s the NCAA Tournament Basketball Fund?

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Saint Peter's Fousseyni Drame, center, reacts during the second half of a college basketball game against Purdue in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Andrew Doughty @DoughtyBetMGM Feb 01, 2023, 1:47 PM

The NCAA Tournament is an excellent opportunity to bet on college basketball odds with 68 games over 21 days. It’s also an important opportunity for conferences and schools to earn money from the NCAA’s multibillion-dollar Basketball Performance Fund.

What’s the NCAA Tournament Basketball Fund?

Revenue from the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament – almost exclusively from media rights – is kept in the Basketball Performance Fund.

In April 2010, the NCAA signed a 14-year, $10.8-billion media deal with CBS and Turner Sports for exclusive broadcast rights to the NCAA Tournament. Six years later, a new deal was struck for an additional eight years and $8.8 billion that runs from 2025-2032.

A majority of the annual media revenue, along with other revenue from gate receipts, merchandise, and other sources, is distributed to Division-I member institutions through the fund.

How Does the Basketball Fund Work?

When a team appears in an NCAA Tournament game (including the First Four but not the national championship), it earns a unit for their conference. Each unit was worth $338,887 for the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

That amount is paid to the conference each year for six years starting in 2022, meaning one unit is worth a total of $2,033,322 over six years.

The conferences may use and/or distribute the funds to members however they wish.

For example, in defeating Kentucky in the first round of the 2022 tournament, Saint Peter’s earned one unit for the MAAC. If they had lost to Murray State in the second round, the Peacocks would’ve finished the tournament with two units, one for each game played.

But they beat Murray State en route to the Elite Eight and finished with four units for the MAAC. From 2023-28, the conference will receive annual payments of $1,355,548 for a total of more than $8 million.

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About the Author

Andrew Doughty

Read More @DoughtyBetMGM

Andrew Doughty is the Web Content Lead for BetMGM. A graduate of the University of Kansas, he previously wrote for Sports Illustrated and HERO Sports.

Andrew Doughty is the Web Content Lead for BetMGM. A graduate of the University of Kansas, he previously wrote for Sports Illustrated and HERO Sports.