Why Hokie Fans Should Root for ACC Teams in the NCAA Tournament

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Boy don’t you hate Duke, UNC, and Virginia? Don’t you love to see them lose in the NCAA Tournament?

Well, you really ought to root for them to win, because when they don’t, it’s bad for Virginia Tech.

Conferences receive payouts from the NCAA for tournament participation. Each NCAA Tournament game played by a team (played, not won) earns an NCAA Tournament “unit.” For each unit earned by the teams in a conference, the NCAA pays the conference about $250k a year, for six years. That’s a total of $1.6 million over six years.

For more detail and more precise numbers, you can read this March 2014 article from Forbes:

How A Single NCAA Tournament Win Is Worth $1.6 Million

So if the ACC plays in 19 NCAA Tournament games this year, the ACC will earn 19 tournament units, and will earn about $4.75 million a year for the next six years, as payment for those 19 units.

A quote from the article above:

Perhaps the more interesting way to look at a unit’s value, however, is how much it nets a conference over its six-year life. Unit values change year to year, and next year’s [2015] per-unit payout is projected to be $255,379, a 2.1% growth over this year. Assuming an annual 2% increase every year thereafter, a single tournament unit won this year will accrue a total value of $1.58 million across the next six distributions.

The ACC has 15 basketball schools, so divide that $1.6 million (I rounded up) by 15, and you get that Virginia Tech will receive $107,000 from each NCAA Tournament unit over six years. That’s about $17,800 a year.

So you might “hate” Duke and think it would be neat for them to lose in the first round. Well, that would only net VT $17,800 a year for the next six years (1 NCAA tournament unit).

But if Duke makes the Final Four, then they would play five games and earn five tournament units. That’s five units for the ACC …. and about $89,000 a year for VT, instead of just about $17,800.

As the article linked above says (it was written in 2014, but the ACC bids are the same this year, 6):

This year the ACC has six teams in the big dance, which means the conference is assured $1.5 million this year and another $8 million over the next five just from this year’s tournament – and that’s assuming all of those teams lose their first-round games. If just one team makes a run to the Final Four, it will add another $1.1 million to the conference take in each of the next six years.

$1.1 million divided by 15 is $73,333 extra for VT, each year, for the next six years.

That extra $73k a year for VT is a well-salaried administrative position. That’s a new support staff hire in the football office (maybe two), to help with recruiting. That’s a handful of new, fresh-out-of-college hires to do video and social media, and perhaps help land recruits or help get new members for the Hokie Club.

So, root for Duke. Root for UNC. Root for UVa. It’s good for Virginia Tech.

I bring this up because Virginia Tech fans have historically had adversarial relationships with the conferences the Hokies belong to, and the teams in those conferences. Who can forget the Big East’s shoddy treatment of the Hokies? The Big East took forever to invite the Hokies in, then gouged them for exorbitant entry fees, and failed to (for example) send Syracuse into Cassell Coliseum for four years.

And who can forget Louisville banding together with other Metro Conference members to kick the Hokies out of the conference in 1995?

Tech fans can be forgiven for casting a suspicious eye towards their own conference and the schools in it. It was well-learned over many decades. But despite how much you “hate” Duke, UNC, Virginia, and maybe other ACC schools, it’s good for VT if they win NCAA Tournament games.

N.C. State’s B.J. Anya hit a last-second game winner over LSU last night, and that was a $17,800 shot for the Hokies, not just next year, but for the next six years. That’s why I whooped in triumph when it went in. Not just because I kinda like N.C. State, but because that shot was good for the Hokies, too.

So … root for the ACC!

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54 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Respectfully disagree. I will never encourage my 13 yr old to support any team or program that cheats to win. The almighty dollar rears its ugly head to influence far too many issues in today’s society already. Sure the additional revenue certainly helps and each school will gladly deposit those checks, but one does NOT need to hope for those conference teams to be successful, boost their recruiting advantage and enhance their national profile on national TV. With that said, most conference programs probably have not sold their souls in order to be successful. We should definitely hope they win in order to strengthen the conference overall-even if they are our most heated rival.

      1. Have you computed the $$$ the ACC will receive from the tournament since duke just made the final 4?

        1. It’s currently up to 21 units, which is about $33.6 million over six years, or $2.24 million per school over six years.

          A unit is not awarded for playing in the championship game, so … that’s it. 21 units for the ACC.

  2. All this talk is hilarious. Unless you’re at the game, who you root for has nothing to do with the game. Even my beloved Hokies… I can tear up my entire living room and throw a brick through my screen, but it makes sense zero difference.

    So root like crazy against the Hoos, Holes and Cards (I respect Coach K) and enjoy it when they lose and console yourself with the money if they win.

  3. It’s funny, when talking about mistreatment by the Metro and Big East, you never made mention how the Carolina schools fought to keep VT out of the ACC for 50 years!!

  4. Good article, Chris. The only thing that makes me feel better about some of the childish and nearsighted comments below is the fact that our “rooting” really won’t affect any of the outcomes.
    I hope that the ACC teams have a great tournament. ACC wins strengthen the league and VT, both financially and image-wise.

  5. Cannot, will not root for UNCheat. They shouldn’t even be playing now. With their cheating, corrupt athletic system, they should be on several years ban from both football and basketball.

    If UNCheat should never win another game, it will be too soon.

  6. UVA was the first school to show Va Tech tremendous support immediately after the 4/16 tragedy. NUFF SAID!! I will support them whenever they are not plaing Tech.

  7. Screw that. I like to watch quality basketball, but I’ll root for Voldemort, Darth Vader, and the Soviet Union before I do for UVA, UNC, or Duke.

  8. When I saw the headline I thought, “Really, Will has to write an article about this?” But then I saw the responses and see that he does… People, we want every team to be undefeated when they play the Hokies….and then lose.

    See how easy that was?

  9. I’ve never had a problem rooting for fellow conference members in inter-conference matchups.

    Always root for the ACC against non-ACC foes. It makes the conference look better, which in turn makes VT look better. Whether or not VT is doing well in a particular sport, it helps VT to be in a strongly-perceived conference.

  10. I hear you Will but just want to put a slight twist on it. Its too joyful a thought of the sorrow of Hoos, Holes and Pukes win they lose to give that up. How about we root against them with all our heart and console ourselves about the money if they win. I’ve often considered betting against the Hokies as a potential consolation in case we lose (could never do it though). I think you’ve just provided the perfect solution…thanks!!

    1. Fair nuff. Think about the person at VT whose job is saved when UVa wins, and that’ll make you feel better. 🙂

      1. Quit depending on someone else to earn the money.Fill the gym up for our games ,earn your own money.Sure it is nice to get a check from the conference but if one just does not like some of the teams,doing it for the money?I think their is a word for that.

  11. Meaningless post but ‘Voice of Reason’ sez……..and I don’t think I need to point this out but ……you cheer for who you cheer for because it is in your DNA.
    You can’t help it. You might say “Go Pack” or whatever but your body language might be screaming ‘miss it…. miss it’.

    The bottom line…..even if cheering for Pack or Dook or gag me…. UNC to do well, it don’t mean a big squat……you are not affecting the outcome of NCAA games…..duh….did he need to say that?

    But thanks Will for all the info. It makes us more informed to know these interesting and lessor known things but I’m always thinking that success by our common opponents in tourney games only makes it harder (in most cases) for ACC prospects to choose the Hokies over the other unis that have better tourney track records.

  12. Can’t do it. There is more to life than money. Pulled hard for the soviets in an exhibition game against Uva when ralph was there. And will only pull for louisville if/when they play uva or maybe unc/duke.

      1. The bad thing is, the Russians got hosed at the end of that game. Ricky Stokes climbed over the back of a russian on a rebound; they called the foul on the russian. Stokes made both free throws and the hoos won by one or two. The game was at Richmond coliseum, pre season I think.

    1. Actually pulled for uva in that game…I think it took them 1-2 OT’s to beat the Soviet Team….I was “OK” with that, just that once. Still, I went home and took a shower and scrubbed!!

      Go Wolfpack…all the way!!! (does THAT help?) :>)

  13. Plus. the more the ACC wins, the better the ACC reputation and maybe we will get more teams in it that deserve to be. Much is being made of the Big 12’s record right now in the tournament.

  14. Sorry, as a fan it can never be all about the money. Gee…..Think of the money that VT makes if UVA wins the tournament. Go Duke/UNC!!! I DON’T THINK SO. Yeah the money is nice but if you can’t root against teams you hate…..why even bother being a fan.

  15. I have tickets to the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games in Syracuse. Having an ACC team reach S16s means a connection to “home”.

  16. Unless my VT math has failed me, I think it’s $178k over each of the next six years, not $17k. 1.06M / 6 = 178K 🙂

    1. Too many maths.

      Actually, I slipped the digit elsewhere. That sentence should read:

      “The ACC has 15 basketball schools, so divide that $1.6 million (I rounded up) by 15, and you get that Virginia Tech will receive $107,000 from each NCAA Tournament unit over six years. That’s about $17,800 a year.”

      Previously, it said, “…. Virginia Tech will receive $1.07 million from each NCAA Tournament unit over six years.” So it was the $1.07 million that was in error, not the $17,800.

      Right? 🙂


  17. UNC didn’t pull for us to play them in the Peach Bowl or pull for us to get into the ACC. They think VT and VT fans are Hillbilly Trash. I’ll pull for the ACC tag on their uniforms but not them. They need to learn they aren’t all that.

  18. C’mon guys, it is not just the money from the tournament. For the ACC to maintain its status as the premier basketball conference, our members need to win tournament games and win the national championship. It affects recruiting, annual tv contracts and a lot of things. As painful as it may seem for any of us Hokies, it would be a wonderful thing to see Virginia or Duke knock down Kentucky. And in football it helped to have FSU win the National championship two years ago and hurt is when they went down in flames this year. Maybe we will get the talent to challenge those guys eventually, that worm will turn, but for now we need to root hard for our ACC representatives, yes including Notre Dam, Dook, and the wawhos!

  19. I’m not sure why, but it’s easier for me to pull for the Hoos in basketball than football. Also, having worked at N.C. State for almost 20 years I’ve come to dislike UNC more so than UVa. But make no mistake. I will not pull for any of them unless it’s somehow beneficial to the Hokies.

  20. Great points!! It also can’t hurt in future tourney selections either. Although each year is its own, a conference whose bids perennially do not play to seed risks finding itself on the short end of the stick in terms of multiple at large tourney bids.

    1. And you’re forgetting how if Duke/UNC hadn’t taken the position they did (they voted against letting ANYONE into the ACC – even Miami). then Virginia wouldn’t have been able to strong-arm us into the ACC.

      In other words, had either Duke or UNC voted for the Miami-Syracuse-Boston College package, then Virginia’s no vote wouldn’t have stopped it. We would have been left in the Big East and scrambling to keep it together.

      1. Correct. If memory serves, UNC and Duke voted against expansion the whole time, not just against VT. The ACC would have gotten 7 out of 9 votes and gone ahead with Miami-BC-Syracuse … except UVa held out until VT got the invitation.

        Again … if memory serves. It’s been almost 12 years now. (wow)

        1. I was too young when this ACC expansion stuff happened. Is there any documented accounts or any information of how everything went down. I always hear bits and pieces of what happened from message boards but, I wanted to read up on it myself. Seems interesting why some schools were for or against expansion. And why UVa held out for VT. I am sure there are a lot of good stories about that time that I missed out on. Does anybody know?

          1. The way I understand it (and this jives with my memory of how things went down at the time) is that the ACC needed 7 of 9 votes to expand and Duke and UNC opposed ANY expansion whatsoever, so the rest of the league had to be unanimous for expansion to happen. This allowed UVA to hold out their vote until VT got an offer.

            The way I’ve heard it is that John Casteen (UVA’s President) was ALWAYS in our corner. He really didn’t need Governor Warner to coax him into holding out for us — he was going to do that anyway. But Mark Warner saw an opportunity to make some political points in Hokie Nation, so he stuck his nose in the middle of it. If it makes him feel better to tell himself he got us into the ACC, meh.

            Anyway, when it all came down to the final call, Duke and UNC had made it known they were opposed to any expansion at all and UVA’s Casteen announced he would only vote for expansion if Virginia Tech got the first bid. So the Hokies were voted on first and we got 7 yes votes, opening up Casteen to be able to vote yes on Miami, which he did, along with everyone else not named UNC or Duke. Then it came time to vote on Boston College and the President at NC State (I think? It may have been Wake) voted NO, so Boston College was left out of the original expansion, 6-3. They got their bid a few months later, but could not make it official until summer of 2005.

  21. The money is nice, but I want ACC teams to win in the NCAA tournament because I want to play in the BEST, TOUGHEST conference. I want to play in a conference known for winning. I want to play in a conference that every other one says “yep – they’re the best”.

    That’s how the SEC views football. ALL SEC teams pull for another once the bowlgames come around. Tired of the SEC-SEC-SEC chants? Beat them.

    Sure, hate UVa and Duke during conference play, but once the NCAAs roll around, WE WANT THEM TO WIN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Win, ACC, win.

  22. I think I can do this….if I hold my nose and look sideways at the TV while doing it (for many of the schools in question).

    1. Even Notre Dame. They’re one of the 15 teams referenced. (I assume their tournament units go into the ACC pot …..)

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