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March Madness 2010 Brackets: Best and Worst Graduation Rates

As 2010 March Madness begins heating up, I want to take moment before the first basketball tip off to

March Madness
examine how the 64 schools lucky enough to make it into one of the NCAA basketball brackets are doing academically.

As always, the student-athlete accomplishments are a mixed bag. Some universities in the NCAA 2010 brackets have done an excellent job of making sure that their basketball players graduate on time. Other basketball power houses should be ashamed of their mediocre graduation records.

Every year, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida compiles the graduation statistics for the men and women's teams, which earn spots in the March Madness brackets. No surprise, women basketball players graduate at much higher rates than the men. In fact, the graduation gap between the men and women's team is alarming.

I'd suggest that the graduation rates would rise miraculously if the NCAA stopped allowing teams with hideous grad rates to participate in March Madness. I'd love to see that happen. Actually, Arne Duncan, the secretary of the US Department of Education has suggested that grad rates help determine which schools get to participate in March Madness. Any school that couldn't graduate at least 40% of its basketball teams would be watching the action on TV.

Here are the academic winners and losers in the NCAA basketball brackets:

Top 10 Graduation Rates for 2010 March Madness Schools

Men's Teams:
  • Brigham Young University 100%
  • Marquette University 100%
  • Notre Dame University 100%
  • Utah State University 100%
  • Wake Forest University 100%
  • Wofford College 100%
  • Duke University 92%
  • Lehigh University 92%
  • Vermont University 92%
  • Villanova University 92%

Worst Graduation Rates for 2010 March Madness Schools

Men's teams:
  • University of Maryland 8%
  • University of California 20%
  • University of Arkansas (Pine Bluff) 29%
  • University of Washington 29%
  • University of Tennessee 30%
  • University of Kentucky 31%
  • Baylor University 36%
  • New Mexico State University 36%
  • Clemson University 37%
  • Georgia Tech 38%
  • University of Louisville 38%

2010 March Madness Schools with 100% Graduation Rates

Women's Teams:
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Dayton
  • DePaul University
  • Duke University
  • Lehigh University
  • Liberty University
  • Marist College
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Ohio State University
  • St. John's University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
  • Tulane University
  • Vanderbilt University
  • University of Vermont

2010 March Madness Schools with Worst Graduation Rates

Women's Teams:
  • Southern U., Baton Rouge 29%
  • Lamar University 35%
  • Hampton University 39%
  • Louisiana Tech University 42%
  • Portland State University 50%
  • West Virginia University 60%
  • Texas A&M University 61%
  • Texas Christian University 64%
  • East Tennessee State 67%
  • Florida State University 67%
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Lynn O'Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution, an Amazon bestseller and she also writes about college for TheCollegeSolutionBlog. Follow me on Twitter.

2010 March Madness image by Toddwickersty. CC 2.0.