By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The NCAA tournament brings in more than $800 million through TV rights and ticket sales.

It funds a majority of what the NCAA does.

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Of that money, $205 million will go back to the D-I conferences playing in the tournament.

So, how much does each school get?

“Colleges can make a lot of money from this, but the money does not go to the college for making the tournament,” said Mike Leeds, a sports economist at Temple University. “The NCAA pays the money out to the conferences, which then disperse it to every school in the conference.”

The NCAA says it encourages, but does not require the 32 D-I conferences to split the money evenly among its teams.

That would mean the payout for a school like Penn State, which didn’t make the tournament, would be the same as the University of Minnesota or Michigan, which did.

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Here’s how it works: Each game a team plays in the tournament is equivalent to one unit. Each unit in 2017 is worth $265,000. That money is paid out over six years.

This means, if a team loses in the first round (just plays one game), that would equal $1.6 million, which is one unit times $265,000 times six years.

Teams that automatically qualify with their conference get an additional $1.6 million for participating in the first round. Their unit calculations start in the second round.

A trip to the Sweet Sixteen is worth about $5 million, while a trip to the Final Four is $8 million.

The Big Ten teams brought in $26 million for the conference last year.

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[graphiq id=”bLpsMqJOqjz” title=”NCAA Basketball Tournament History” width=”600″ height=”571″ url=”” link=”” link_text=”PointAfter | Graphiq” ]

Heather Brown