The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket was announced yesterday. It won’t be until April 7 that a champion is crowned, but students, parents, and, let’s be honest, a lot of your coworkers, will certainly be engrossed in collegiate roundball happenings for the next few weeks.
But, perhaps, you prefer alternative methods to compare the final 68 teams in the field. In that case, Inside Higher Ed has something just for you.
Inside Higher Ed created an athletic academic performance bracket. The 68 tournament teams compete according to the following:
To determine the winners, we look to the Academic Progress Rate, the NCAA’s multiyear measure of a team’s classroom performance (in this case, from to 2008-12). When two teams tie, as they inevitably do, we turn to the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate, which measures the proportion of athletes on track to graduate within six years.
In the event of a GSR tie, our final determinant is the Federal Graduation Rate, a slightly different formula that the government uses to track graduation rates.
Some people use this information as a method of filling out their own NCAA March Madness bracket. That’s probably not advisable. You’ll have to click over to Inside Higher Ed’s website to read who won their athletic academic performance bracket, but it bears mentioning that the predictive model over at fivethirtyeight.com gives the winner of the athletic academic performance bracket less than a 1% chance of winning the men’s tourney.