The Top 10 Most Valuable College Basketball Teams Playing in March Madness

Big scores on the court translate to big bucks for these teams.


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When it comes to March Madness, there are teams most fans expect to easily win their first round. These are the teams that fill stadiums and dominate college basketball media coverage. More often than not, they're also the most lucrative.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the following 10 teams are the most valuable men's basketball programs participating in the 2017 NCAA Basketball Tournament based on total revenue. Compare them to the least valuable March Madness teams to decide who you think will win the Big Dance.

University of Maryland, College Park: $17,753,576
Maryland Terps / Wikimedia Commons

University of Maryland, College Park: $17,753,576

Maryland finished its season 24-8, thanks in part to junior guard Melo Trimble, who led the team in scoring and was named to the First Team All-Big Ten. The Terrapins lost to Northwestern — which clinched its first ever NCAA Tournament berth — in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament.

Maryland is seeded No. 6 in the West region and faces 11-seed Xavier (21-13) in the first round on March 16. Tipoff is set for 6:50 p.m. from Orlando, Fla. This will be Maryland's 27th NCAA Tournament appearance — its third in a row — with one national championship victory in 2002.

Michigan State University: $18,553,322
Michigan State University / Wikimedia Commons

Michigan State University: $18,553,322

The regular season was rocky for Michigan State. The team finished with a record of 19-14. But, under the guidance of coach Tom Izzo, the Spartans found their way into the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Michigan State is seeded No. 9 in the Midwest region and plays 8-seed Miami in the first round on March 17. The game will begin at 9:20 p.m. from Tulsa, Okla.

This will be Michigan State's 31st tournament appearance. The team has made the tournament every year since 1998 and has won national championships in 1979 and 2000.

Also See: The Money Behind the March Madness NCAA Basketball Tournament

Marquette University: $18,557,191
Jxl579 / Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0

Marquette University: $18,557,191

Marquette finished the regular season at 19-12. The Golden Eagles dropped the ball in the Big East Tournament, losing their first game to Seton Hall by six points.

Marquette is the 10-seed in the East region and is matched against 7-seed South Carolina Gamecocks (22-10) on March 17. The game will begin at 9:50 p.m. from Greenville, S.C. — a short drive from the Gamecocks' Columbia, S.C., campus.

This will be Marquette's 32nd NCAA Tournament appearance and its first since 2013, the team's only championship coming in 1977.

University of Kansas: $19,257,952
University of Kansas / Wikimedia Commons

University of Kansas: $19,257,952

The University of Kansas (28-4) recently claimed a 13th consecutive regular season Big 12 title, a feat previously achieved only by UCLA (1967-1979). Kansas head coach Bill Self was named Big 12 Coach of the Year, while senior guard Frank Mason III claimed Big 12 Player of the Year and freshman guard Josh Jackson was selected as Big 12 Freshman of the Year. Both players were also placed on the All-Big 12 First Team.

The Jayhawks (28-4) are the 1-seed in the Midwest region. Kansas will play UC Davis, which beat North Carolina Central 67-63 in its First Four game on March 15. The game will be played at 6:40 p.m. on March 17 in Tulsa, Okla.

This year is Kansas's 46th appearance in the NCAA tournament. The team has made the Big Dance every year since 1990 and has won national championships in 1952, 1988 and 2008.

University of Arizona: $19,707,241
University of Arizona - Zscout370 / Wikimedia Commons

University of Arizona: $19,707,241

The University of Arizona finished its season with an impressive 30-4 record. The Wildcats won the Pac-12 title for the second time in three years, and coach Sean Miller was named Pac-12 John R. Wooden Coach of the Year.

Arizona is the 2-seed in the West region and will play 15-seed North Dakota (22-9) in the first March Madness round. The game is set for 9:50 p.m. on March 16 in Salt Lake City.

This marks Arizona's 34th NCAA Tournament appearance and its fifth in a row. The team's lone national championship came in 1997.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: $21,577,716
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill / Wikimedia Commons

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: $21,577,716

The University of North Carolina — which counts NBA legend Michael Jordan among its alumni — finished its 2017 season with a record of 27-7. The Tar Heels lost to rival Duke in the ACC Tournament semifinal, but junior Justin Jackson was awarded ACC Player of the Year and selected for the All-ACC First Team.

UNC earned the No. 1 seed in the South region and will start its tournament against 16-seed Texas Southern (23-11). That game is slated for 4 p.m. on March 17 from Greenville, S.C.

This will be North Carolina's 48th NCAA Tournament appearance and seventh in a row. The Tar Heels have been national champions in 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005 and 2009.

University of Wisconsin-Madison: $22,947,299
Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System / Wikimedia Commons

University of Wisconsin-Madison: $22,947,299

The University of Wisconsin-Madison finished its season 25-9. According to the university's athletics website, the Badgers' basketball and football programs have combined for more postseason appearances than any other university since 1996. Madison also ranks as Wisconsin's best city for financial success, due much in part to the university.

Wisconsin is the 8-seed in the East region and matched against 9-seed Virginia Tech (22-10) in the first round. Tipoff is set for 9:40 p.m. on March 16 from Buffalo, N.Y.

This will be Wisconsin's 23rd NCAA Basketball Tournament appearance. The team has participated in March Madness every season since 1999, winning its lone national championship in 1941.

University of Kentucky: $25,239,033
Preston Ursini / Wikimedia Commons

University of Kentucky: $25,239,033

Finishing a season 29-5 might be a disappointment to some University of Kentucky fans, but the Wildcats won the 2017 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament. The victory was Kentucky's 30th — more than all other SEC teams combined.

Kentucky is the 2-seed in the South region. The team will play 15-seed Northern Kentucky (24-10) at 9:40 p.m. on March 17 in Indianapolis.

This marks Kentucky's 57th NCAA Tournament appearance. Kentucky has won the tournament in 1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998 and 2012.

Duke University: $36,966,458
Duke / Wikimedia Commons

Duke University: $36,966,458

Duke finished its season with a 27-8 record. The Blue Devils won the 2017 ACC Tournament over Notre Dame. Freshman forward Jayson Tatum averaged 16.9 points per game for Duke and has garnered a great deal of NBA attention. Also in the spotlight this year were junior guard Grayson Allen and coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has been with the program since 1980 and is considered a legend.

The Blue Devils are the 2-seed in the East region. Duke begins its tournament run against 15-seed Troy at 7:20 p.m. on March 17 in Greenville, S.C.

This year will be Duke's 41st NCAA Tournament appearance. The team has won national championships in 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010 and 2015 — all under Coach K.

Related: Most Valuable College Football Teams Not Playing in a Major Bowl Game This Year

University of Louisville: $47,060,673
University of Louisville / Wikimedia Commons

University of Louisville: $47,060,673

Despite being charged with four major violations by the NCAA following an investigation of an alleged escort scandal, the University of Louisville remains the wealthiest basketball program. This season, the Cardinals finished at 24-8. Sophomore Donovan Mitchell will represent Louisville on the All-ACC First Team and was also voted to the All-Defensive team.

Louisville is a 2-seed in the Midwest region and will play 15-seed Jacksonville State (20-14) in the first round. That game will take place in Greenville, S.C. and is set for 2:45 p.m. on March 17.

This will be Louisville's 42nd NCAA Tournament appearance. The team has won three championships, most recently in 2013.

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