How Clemson Helped ACC Cash In Big For March Madness

The Clemson Tigers were among the ACC men’s basketball teams that helped the conference net more money than any other league in 2024.
Mar 29, 2024; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Clemson Tigers coach Brad Brownell at a press conference at Crypto.com Arena.
Mar 29, 2024; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Clemson Tigers coach Brad Brownell at a press conference at Crypto.com Arena. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The NCAA Tournament is the cash cow of college basketball. The further a conference’s teams go, the more money to be made.

And no conference made more money off of this year’s “March Madness” than the ACC — and Clemson certainly helped the league out.

Even with just five schools selected, Sportico reported that the ACC made $34 million off NCAA Tournament “units.”

Units are the payout per game for each conference. If a team from a conference plays a game, the conference gets money. In this case the unit cost for this year’s tournament was $2 million.

The ACC played 17 games before the Final Four and made $2 million more than the SEC (which had eight teams selected) and $4 million more than the Big 12 (eight) and the Big Ten (six).

The league will distribute that revenue among its member schools.

The Tigers reached the Elite Eight for the first time since 1980. As a No. 6 seed, the Tigers beat No. 11 New Mexico, No. 3 Baylor and No. 2 Arizona before falling to No. 4 Alabama one step away from the Final Four.

Clemson has never reached the Final Four. But, after playing four games, the Tigers made the ACC a cool $8 million.

The ACC, in spite of just five selections, had a terrific tournament.

No. 11 NC State made a Cinderella run to the Final Four, while No. 4 Duke also reached the Elite Eight. No. 1 seed North Carolina reached the Sweet 16. Virginia was the remaining ACC team to make the field of 68 and lost in the First Four to Colorado State.


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Matt Postins

MATT POSTINS