Forbes went about ranking which college basketball teams were the most valuable based on a variety of factors. UNC came out on top posting a $16.9 million profit and valued at $26 million:
The North Carolina Tar Heels basketball team is the most valuable in the country, worth $26 million. We base our valuations on what the basketball programs contribute to four important beneficiaries: their university (money generated by basketball that goes to the institution for academic purposes, including scholarship payments for basketball players); athletic department (the net profit generated by the basketball program retained by the department); conference (the distribution of tournament revenue); and local communities (incremental spending by visitors to the county during the regular season that’s attributable to the program).
Last season the Tar Heels posted a $16.9 million profit and, thanks in part to a lucrative merchandising agreement with Nike, contributed $800,000 to the university for academics. With Michael Jordan’s jersey hanging from the Dean Smith Center’s rafters and the basketball team a perennial contender for the national championship, basketball is the cornerstone of the university’s athletic department.
Duke was ranked fifth with a $22 million value. NC State came in at 13th worth $13.6 million. Maryland also appears on the list at #17.