The Semifinal Game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Auburn Tigers during the SEC Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 14, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.
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By Brad Tuttle
March 20, 2015


David Paul Morris—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Cost of a seven-day free trial of Sling TV, the streaming service from DirecTV that includes TBS and TNT—the two main pay TV channels airing NCAA March Madness games, along with the broadcast network CBS. In order words, the service allows you to view all games in the tournament without a cable bill; it comes with ESPN too, so you’ll get your fair share of game highlights as well. After the seven-day trial, you can cancel or pay up $20 monthly, which is much cheaper than the typical pay TV package.


Matt Sayles—Invision/AP

Cost of admission for the three-day March Madness Music Festival featuring Rihanna (pictured), Lady Antebellum, and the Zac Brown Band, among others. The free outdoor event is being held over Final Four weekend (April 3-5) in Indianapolis, which is also hosting the tournament’s final basketball games. In fact, Saturday night’s performers will be competing with the first semifinal game, which will be broadcast live for the music festival crowd.


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Percentage of men’s college basketball players that are drafted by an NBA team. More than three-quarters of college players, meanwhile, think they will play professionally.


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Cheapest list price of any March Madness ticket—this one for a Thursday afternoon session in Louisville featuring Iowa State vs. UAB, followed by SMU vs. UCLA. Meanwhile, tickets to the evening session in the same location on the same day were starting at around $120, though the night games feature the tournament’s overall #1 seed (and local favorite) Kentucky.


Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates with his players after defeating the St. John's Red Storm earning his 1,000th career victory on January 25 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Duke defeated St John's 77-68.
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Number of college basketball coaches in last year’s tournament who were paid more than $1 million per year before any bonuses, according to data gathered by USA Today. Top earner Mike Krzyzewski’s total pay: more than $9.6 million.

42% vs. 100%

Mary Altaffer—AP

The range of basketball player graduation rate success among NCAA March Madness contenders, with Indiana University on the low end and Davidson College named as the tournament’s overall academic champ. (In fact, several tournament teams boast 100% basketball player graduation rates, including Maryland, Notre Dame, Butler, Dayton, and Villanova.)


Jeff Padrick—Klug Studio Inc.

Discount on all regular priced Domino’s pizzas now through Sunday, March 22, which marks the end of the tournament’s first weekend.


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The special price of a “Vas Madness” deal, covering an initial consultation and a vasectomy—yes, a vasectomy—from The Urology Team in Texas. “Get your vasectomy, then sit on the couch for 3 days watching sports– Doctors orders!” the pitch explains. Many vasectomy clinics report a spike in appointments timed to coincide with the NCAA basketball tournament, and in some cases men who get snipped have wound up with free pizza as part of the package deal. A few years back, one Cleveland urologist explained the appeal of getting a vasectomy during March Madness this way: “If they’re going to have a day off, it might as well be on a day when they would want to be watching basketball, as opposed to watching ‘Oprah.'”



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The estimated average value of a college basketball player to his school and program, according to a 2014 study. Meanwhile, another study indicates that the average value a student athlete receives, in terms of scholarships, health care, coaching, and such, is about $125,000 per year. The players, of course, receive $0 in salaries because the NCAA insists they are student athletes and not employees.

$1 million

Patrick T. Fallon—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Prize that Pizza Hut will serve up if any of the three randomly selected contestants make a half-court shot backwards at a special event in Indianapolis on Sunday, April 5. To have a chance at being selected, go to and enter by Sunday, March 29. Three winners will get a free trip to Indianapolis and have one chance to nail a half-court shot facing the wrong way. Pizza Hut is also selling Stuffed Crust Pizzas for $9.99, which is the same price listed when the product was introduced 20 years ago.

$40.5 million

Joe Robbins—Getty Images

Annual revenues raked in by Louisville’s college basketball team, which is tops in the nation. After factoring in expenses, Louisville’s program makes a profit of $24.2 million, while schools such as West Virginia and Notre Dame reportedly lose about $2 million annually because of their basketball teams.

$240 Million vs. $1.15 Billion

Shaquille O’Neal, Julius “Dr J” Erving, Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner in AT&T March Madness "Legends" campaign

Estimated total ad revenues for the Super Bowl and March Madness, respectively, from 2013, the most recent year such data is available. Granted, March Madness is a full tournament while the Super Bowl is just a single day.

$1.9 Billion

Sarina Finkelstein

Estimated loss incurred by businesses due to workers being “distracted and unproductive” during the basketball tournament, according to an annual report issued by Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

$2 Billion+

Julie Jacobson—AP

Amount wagered on some 70 million March Madness brackets filled out for the 2015 tournament, per the American Gaming Association. The total amount expected to be bet on the tournament is $9 billion, only $240 million of which will be wagered with Nevada sports books.

$10.8 Billion

Eric Gay—AP

Amount paid by CBS and Turner Sports to the NCAA for the rights to broadcast the March Madness tournament for a 14-year period ending in 2024.

1 in 9.2 Quintillion

Darron Cummings—AP

Odds of picking all the correct winners in the tournament, from start to finish, for a perfect bracket. What’s a quintillion? It’s a one followed by 18 zeros. So 9.2 of those. This is all according to Bleacher Report, which points out that you have far, far better odds of being hit by lightning, getting bit by a shark, having identical triplets, winning the lottery, or becoming an NBA player.


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