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

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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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