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WSU continues to cash in on Pac-12 NCAA Tournament success

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NCAA Basketball: California at Stanford Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Tournament field has narrowed to just eight teams and three represent the Pac-12. That is a great thing for UCLA, Oregon State and USC fans. It is also a good thing for WSU and the rest of the Pac-12.

With the revenue sharing program in the Pac-12, when the Beavers, Bruins and Trojans wins, so does everyone in the conference. The NCAA pays out teams/conferences based on NCAA Tournament “units” which are essentially a point for each win by the team/conference. Let’s do the math of what that means for WSU.

We start with the number of units. While the Pac-12 only sent five teams to the NCAA Tournament, those five have done a lot of winning. USC’s victory against Oregon on Sunday night gave the conference 18 wins in the tournament or 18 units. That is a Pac-12 single tournament, record. It is also worth a lot of money.

18 units x $337,000 per unit = $6,066,000 per year for the conference x 6 years = $36,396,000 earned by the conference thus far. Divide that equally across 12 schools and WSU and every other Pac-12 school will bring home a little over $3 million or $505k for the next six years. That’s assuming the three remaining Pac-12 teams don’t win another game. Every additional win is worth nearly $170k to WSU.

Now, this isn’t all unexpected revenue. The Pac-12 earns NCAA Tournament units every year. But, not like this. In 2019, the conference earned seven units. In 2018, only three units. If we assume the conference projects about 10 units per season, WSU may have forecast an incoming $280k over the next six years. At $505k and counting, there is likely at least an extra $225k coming in for the next six years.

It’s not enough to allow Pat Chun to break ground on new facilities next week. It is, however, roughly 15% of Kyle Smith’s annual salary. Considering the budget issues most college athletic departments are/have faced, it definitely won’t hurt.

There are six more units at stake for the Pac-12, should we somehow get an all-Pac-12 championship game. That means there is another $1 million on the line for the Cougars.

With that said ... Go Beavs, Go Bruins, and Fight On Trojans.

*****

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