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.
- Louisville: $39.5 million
- Kansas: $33 million
- Kentucky: $32.5 million
- North Carolina: $25.7 million
- Indiana: $25.4 million
- Arizona: $25.2 million
- Ohio State: $22.9 million
- Wisconsin: $21.1 million
- Syracuse: $21 million
- Duke: $18.9 million
- Michigan State: $17.1 million
- North Carolina State: $17 million
- Illinois: $15.8 million
- Michigan: $14.2 million
- Tennessee: $14.1 million
- Texas: $13.6 million
- Xavier: $13.4 million
- Maryland: $11.9 million
- Minnesota: $11.6 million
- Arkansas: $11 million