Local schools to benefit from Final Four

By WEEK Producer

April 5, 2013 Updated Apr 5, 2013 at 10:45 PM CDT

Wichita State shocked the nation last week when they advanced to the Final Four. The effects of the Shockers trip to Atlanta won't just be felt in Kansas, both Bradley and ISU will benefit too.

When Wichita State beat Ohio State to become the first Missouri Valley Conference school to make the final four since 1979 you could hear the cheers all over Valley.

"There are only three conferences represented. The Big East Conference with two. The Big Ten conference with one and the Missouri Valley Conference. That has all the power if you well of a brick through a window. It's just mind boggling," said Missouri Valley Conference Associate Commissioner, Jack Watkins.

The Shockers success means more than just exposure for the league and it's Schools. It means money and lots of it.

Wichita's run to the Final Four plus one tournament win by the Creighton Bluejays equals $10.3 million over the next six years for all of schools and the conference to split.

"The system is set up that the more success you have in the NCAA tournament the more what is termed units that are given to every conference based on every round that you advance. So as Wichita has advanced there has been a financial benefit to the conference in the same way if Creighton were to advance or any of the teams were able to advance," said Bradley University Athletic Director, Michael Cross.

While no one will say exactly what each schools share of the $10 million will be, they will say that the money will not necessarily go to the basketball programs.

"When these opportunities arise, you have to think carefully about how you want to utilize this opportunity that has been presented to you. That's what it is, it's an opportunity to think creatively about how we can best utilize those funds in order to enhance a particular part of our program that has need," said Cross.

And it gives the conference a shot in the pocketbook too.

"If it's through digital media, social media, all different platforms that may not of been created yet. It allows us to do some outside the box thinking to extend the Missouri Valley Conference Brand," said Watkins.

There's no more money if the Shockers win the National title, that would be priceless.

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