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So far, so good for the Pac-12 at the NCAA Tournament

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NCAA Basketball: Hartford at Baylor Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was a good first day of the NCAA Tournament, wouldn’t you say? We saw a 15 seed win in overtime (Oral Roberts), a 13 seed win in overtime (North Texas) and another overtime game between Florida and Virginia Tech that was all sorts of fun. But the upset that fans of Pac-12 schools should be interested in is Oregon State handling Tennessee with ease.

That, along with UCLA’s win in its First Four game on Thursday is good news for the Pac-12 schools. The Bruins, Oregon, USC and Colorado can add to the good news with wins today. Only UCLA is the lower seed, if that even matters anymore.

Why are wins by Pac-12 schools good news for the rest of the conference, even the schools that didn’t make the tournament? Not only do the wins help the league’s battered reputation, but the more wins a conference gains as a whole, the more revenue the league receives for distribution among its members.

Here’s a good breakdown from 2019 of what “units” are and the revenue that goes along with it. Granted, this explainer was before COVID-19 came around and busted everybody’s budgets and revenue streams, but you get the idea:

“Units” are what the NCAA calls its tally of wins, automatic qualifiers and at-large bids that determine how much conferences are paid.

Each distribution year is assigned a value for a single unit, which is then applied to units earned by conferences over the previous six tournaments.

The NCAA paid conferences $216 million in 2018 — $273,500 per unit for tournament results from 2012-2017.

Conferences decide how the money is distributed, though most conferences distribute the money equally (unless you’re the WCC and give in to Mark Few’s complaints).

So, root hard for more Pac-12 wins because every little bit helps.

Here’s today’s NCAA Tournament schedule.

Baseball beats Oregon State

Curse the wet ball


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