Thursday, March 21, 2019

How Much $$$$$ Does Each Team Get for Playing in the 2019 NCAA Tournament?

The NCAA Tournament in college basketball is a billion dollar a year industry. But how much money does each team get for playing in the 2019 NCAA Tournament?


The NCAA rakes in money from TV media rights, ticket sales, corporate sponsorships and ads from radio and streaming viewership. The NCAA pays out money to each team that makes the NCAA Tournament and for each successive game played in up to the Final Four.

Once teams reach the Final Four they no longer receive any additional money for playing in the tournament. Generally, the money the teams earn gets paid to their respective college basketball conferences and each conference can distribute the money any way they want.

For the major college basketball conferences the money is generally split evenly among all the teams in the conference regardless of which teams actually make the tournament. For conferences like the West Coast Conference it's probable that Gonzaga gets the lions share of the money they earn in the NCAA Tournament each year.

So how much money does each team get for each game they play in up to the Final Four?


How Much $$$$$ Does Each Team Get for Playing in 2019 NCAA Tournament?



  • $1.68 million

Each team in the 2019 NCAA Tournament gets $1.68 million for each game they play in up to the Final Four. It does not matter if a team wins or loses both teams each get $1.68 million per game.

Of course the team that wins moves on to play in another game and earns another $1.68 million. Here's how much teams get for each win up to the Final Four.


  • 1st game - $1.68 million

  • 2nd game - $3.36 million

  • 3rd game - $5.04 million

  • 4th game - $6.72 million

  • 5th game - $8.4 million


The most money one team can earn in the 2019 NCAA Tournament is $8.4 million. That's for a team that makes it all the way to the Final Four. Once in the Final Four a team no longer gets any more money even if they go on to win the tournament.

Since the money generally goes to the conferences one can see how much money each conference earns per tournament. For the 2019 NCAA Tournament, the Big Ten has the most teams in with eight. So the Big Ten is guaranteed to earn at least $13.44 million.

As this is being written, Big Ten teams have already won the first three games they played in so the conference will earn at least $18.48 million this year.

One more note. It is possible that a team who plays in one of the play-in games makes it to the Final Four. Such a team would earn $10.08 million in 2019. The play-in games are worth just as much as the regular tournament games.

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