Kentucky may have the market cornered when it comes to college basketball, but no conference has value in numbers like the Big Ten.
According to an annual study by Ryan Brewer, an assistant professor of finance at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, the conference features six of the top 12 most valuable programs in in the country.
The Wall Street Journal has the full rundown, and it might leave some basketball fans in the heartland scratching their heads when it comes to recent results on the court. Unsurprisingly, Indiana leads the way among Big Ten schools at a value of $277.8 million.
That number is the amount Brewer assessed the Hoosiers would be worth, could they be bought and sold like a professional franchise on the open market. Kentucky ($342.6 million) surpassed Louisville ($320.1 million) this year for the top overall spot.
Duke and Kansas rounded out the top five, followed by a trio of Big Ten programs in Wisconsin ($178.9 million), Ohio State ($177.9 million) and Maryland ($154.6 million) in spots six through eight. Purdue ($140.4 million) and Illinois ($127.0 million) were the others in the top 12.
No other conferences had more than four programs that high, and Michigan, Northwestern and Michigan State all cracked the top 20.
If you’re surprised by the inclusion of Northwestern, Brewer believes this might only be the start of the program’s rise in his rankings given the school’s proximity to Chicago and the fact that his study did not account for this March when Wildcats made their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
“If they continue to do well, they could see their revenues stack up,” he told the Wall Street Journal.