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Where does Michigan State basketball rank in men’s, women’s revenue?

Spartan hoops generates a lot of money.



Michigan State basketball
© Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Is total revenue from men’s and women’s Michigan State basketball a good indicator of a blue blood? Where does MSU rank?

When it comes to who and what qualifies a program as a blue blood, there are many different angles and arguments that can be made. How many Final Fours has the program made it to? How many championships have they won? Was the bulk of their success long in the past or recent?

Depending on which way you choose to see it, the list of blue bloods can vary.

But what about the revenue that the program brings in each year? Should that be taken into consideration in the blue blood argument? And if so, where do the Spartans rank?

According to the US Department of Education, revenue for both men’s and women’s college hoops combined, Michigan State basketball comes in at ninth in the country with $27.13M.

The majority of the compiled list below makes sense. Almost all programs that make up the top 10 in revenue have either an elite men’s program, women’s program, or both. Basketball is the main sport on campus for most, if not all, programs on the list. Students and alumni are more likely to spend on the basketball program when the basketball season is the most anticipated time of year, as opposed to football season for many other universities.

The top 10 programs are:

  1. Duke – $47.75M
  2. Syracuse – $35.77M
  3. UNC – $33.19M
  4. UConn – $32.57M
  5. Indiana – $31.19M
  6. Louisville – $28.77M
  7. Marquette – $27.75M
  8. Kentucky – $27.25M
  9. Michigan State – $27.13M
  10. Illinois – $26.49M

In my opinion, ninth is lower than expected for the Spartans, but more surprising was the inclusion of other programs not normally included in the traditional blue bloods argument. Programs such as Marquette and Illinois ranking in the top 10, and, beyond that, Virginia, Vanderbilt, and TCU made their way into the top 30. These programs found their way onto the list while never quite being of much relevance in college basketball (outside Virginia’s lone national championship).

The addition of these universities in the top 10 obviously means the omission of traditional powerhouses such as Kansas and Villanova.

As mentioned, there are countless variables that can be taken into consideration when deciding who makes the blue blood cut. While the argument of revenue can and should be included in the blue blood identification process, I think this list proves that it should hold much less weight than other statistics.

Writer and contributor for Spartan Shadows. Tyler Dutton, a graduate of Michigan State, is a college and professional basketball specialist with over four years of experience writing on both the Spartans and Pistons.


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