An incredible run in the NCAA tournament by ACC teams will result in more than $28 million going back to the conference over the next six years.
The conference is 11-1 in the tournament, making up five -- Notre Dame, Louisville, North Carolina State, North Carolina and Duke -- of the Sweet 16 teams. The lone loss was Virginia, which lost to Michigan State on Sunday.
The NCAA pays conferences for the performances of their teams in a tournament over a six-year period beginning in the next year. Teams earn a unit per game played, except the championship game, which is not included.
Next year's units are worth $260,525 each and will increase in value over the next five years they are collected through 2021. That means each game played in this year's tournament is worth at least $1.56 million.
The five ACC teams in the Sweet 16 have already played in 12 games for 12 units. They're guaranteed six more for playing their Sweet 16 games, adding in the fact that Louisville playing NC State means that one has to win and get a unit for an Elite Eight game.
The old Big East earned the most units in one tournament in 2009, when it finished with 24 total units. That year, five of its teams played in the Sweet 16, four advanced to the Elite Eight and two reached the Final Four.
The ACC, which splits its units equally among conference members, has a chance to reach 26 units in this tournament based on how the bracket breaks down. That would result in the ACC being the first conference to earn more than $30 million off one tournament, and it would even surpass $40 million.
The NCAA's basketball fund was started in 1991 as a way to split the tournament television money, which at the time was worth $143 million a year. The average annual value of the TV rights for this year, as a result of a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal signed with CBS and Turner in 2011, is $771 million.