Louisville Cardinals players and coach Pitino celebrate basket agasint Syracue Orange during second half in Big East NCAA men's basketball game in New York

Louisville tops list of most valuable college basketball programs

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Every year, Forbes releases a list of the most valuable programs in college basketball. Louisville tops the list season, valued at $38.5 million during the 2012-13 season.

The Cardinals also topped Forbes’ list last season at $36.1 million.

It’s another in a steady list of accolades the Cardinals have acquired over the past few weeks. Earning the number one overall seed in the NCAA Tournament after winning the Big East Conference tournament championship and earning a share of the Big East regular season title.

The success, according to the article, can be attributed largely to the opening of the KFC Yum! Centrer in 2010-11. The ticket sales were up 28.4-percent at $14.2 million after the opening. The contributions to the team are on the rise as well, reaching $20.4 million last year.

Kansas — now worth $32.9 million — along with North Carolina ($32.8 million) and Kentucky ($32.1 million) come in in second, third and fourth, respectively. Duke was down a bit, ranking 11th at $17.1 million in net worth.

More than the rankings, this is a clear-cut example of how big of a business major college athletics have become. I won’t get into the “pay for play” argument — that’s an entirely different post in itself — but these schools generate millions in revenue for schools.

These numbers definitely give us all something to think about.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.