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Kentucky and Louisville among "Most Valuable" basketball programs

The men's basketball teams at the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky have been named among the top three "most valuable" college hoops squads in the country by Forbes magazine.

The business publication puts the value of the Wildcats at $24.9 million, ranking it No. 2 on the list. Just ahead of it, at No. 1, is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a $26 million valuation.

The Cardinals ranked third on Forbes' list, with a valuation of $24.4 million.

Forbes said its valuations are based on the amount of money that basketball programs contribute to their universities' academic programs and athletic programs, their conferences and their local communities. The rankings reflect figures from last season.

The valuations include mandatory donations required by some athletic departments in order to be eligible to purchase season tickets.

"These 'gifts' add up: the University of Louisville's basketball team, the most profitable in the country, raked in $10.5 million last season from contributions directly tied to premium seating," Forbes said.

"State rival University of Kentucky generated $7 million through 7,000 premium seats at Rupp Arena before a single ticket was even sold."

The other teams rounding out Forbes' top ten were the men's basketball squads at the University of Arizona, Duke University, Indiana University, the University of Illinois, Kansas University, the University of Wisconsin and Ohio State University.

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