March Madness is one of the biggest events in American sports. Sixty-eight college teams get invited to the Big Dance, but by early April, there’s only one team left. The tournament may be about upsets, underdogs and uplifting narratives, but it’s also about the money.
The NCAA’s Division I men’s basketball tournament draws in millions of viewers and rakes in more than $800 million each year from its television deal alone. That makes up more than 75 percent of the association’s yearly revenue. But it’s not just the NCAA that makes money. The coaches are often the highest-paid public employees in their state, and gamblers also stand to make big returns on risky wagers. The NCAA did not return CNBC’s request for comment.
The Money Behind March Madness