Researchers at Emory University have crunched the numbers and have determined that the Louisville Cardinals have the best fan base in all of college basketball. Where does Kentucky rank? How about all the way down at number 7?

Yep, this revenue-based study by Mike Lewis & Manish Tripathi, which they call the "college basketball fan equity analysis" has shown that revenue generated by fans of the University of Louisville, relative to the Cards' on-court success, puts the 'Ville at the top of the chart.

Certainly, Louisville hasn't been a bottom-feeder of late. Far from it. The Cards are coming off back-to-back Final Fours and a national championship. Plus, Louisville is one of only 8 programs to own three titles in the 75-year history of the tournament.

What I've gathered from reading the study--one, I'm sure, will incense some ardent Big Blue fans--is that the reason Kentucky may be ranked as low as seventh is, perhaps, that UK fans are getting a bargain. Remember, this is a study about the BEST fan base, not the BIGGEST. (And I still say that distinction can be completely subjective.)

No, it seems like Kentucky isn't generating the amount of revenue that it COULD generate from its fan base. We all know how UK fans travel, how they camp out for days to get tickets to Big Blue Madness, how you can't keep Kentucky merchandise in the stores after even the smallest milestone is reached, let alone a national title. The passion of UK fans cannot be questioned.

So maybe they'll take a look at this list and realize what occurred to me:

They'd could easily be number one, but they'd have to pay more to get there.