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Forbes ranks Gophers in top 20 of most valuable college basketball teams


After failing to appear in the top 25 rankings all season, the Minnesota Golden Gophers men's basketball team has suddenly surged into the top 20 – of Forbes Magazine's list of most valuable men's college basketball teams.

Forbes ranked the Gophers No. 19 on the list of the 20 most valuable teams, with a total value of $11.6 million, down 29 percent from last year.

Last year Minnesota saw team expenses increase by around $1.5 million while revenues dropped by $2 million, but both changes were largely tied to changes in the athletic department's revenue allocation and accounting practices. Firing head coach Tubby Smith will also cost the school $2.5 million. Minnesota athletics contributed $875,000 to academic counseling for its athletes.

The Gophers fired Tubby Smith following last year's NCAA tournament loss to Florida, which now owns the No. 1 overall seed in this year's Big Dance. Smith's replacement Richard Pitino fell short of guiding the Gophers to a return trip to the tournament, but they are the top-seeded team in the NIT and they host High Point tonight at Williams Arena.

Forbes used a weighted methodology to determine how much value the teams produce for their athletic departments, universities and conferences.

The combined value of the top 20 teams is $425 million. The average team's value is $20.2 million, down from $20.4 million in 2013.

For a third consecutive year, the Louisville Cardinals came in at No. 1.

  1. Louisville: $39.5 million
  2. Kansas: $33 million
  3. Kentucky: $32.5 million
  4. North Carolina: $25.7 million
  5. Indiana: $25.4 million
  6. Arizona: $25.2 million
  7. Ohio State: $22.9 million
  8. Wisconsin: $21.1 million
  9. Syracuse: $21 million
  10. Duke: $18.9 million
  11. Michigan State: $17.1 million
  12. North Carolina State: $17 million
  13. Illinois: $15.8 million
  14. Michigan: $14.2 million
  15. Tennessee: $14.1 million
  16. Texas: $13.6 million
  17. Xavier: $13.4 million
  18. Maryland: $11.9 million
  19. Minnesota: $11.6 million
  20. Arkansas: $11 million

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