March Madness: The Smartest College Basketball Teams in the NCAA Tournament

As the NCAA college basketball tournament kicks off, The Daily Beast ranks all 68 teams based on their grades and graduation rates, from first to worst. Click here for the smart bracket.

The sports high holiday known as March Madness returns tomorrow. But the NCAA college basketball tournament is more than friendly competition—it rivals the Super Bowl as the most-wagered upon athletic event, as brackets fan out across every office, school and website in America.

With thought we might look at the tournament bracket with a more academic bent. With all the concentration on the court, we thought we'd examine how the 68 teams in the tournament fare academically. To find out which schools are faltering, The Daily Beast considered all 68 college teams in this year’s March Madness according to their graduation success rate (GSR), Academic Progress Rate (APR) for both the most recent year available as well as the multi-year, four-year average score, and the head coach’s career APR. All four metrics, calculated and provided by the NCAA, were weighted equally.

The Academic Progress Rate is a metric, measured out of 1,000, of academic eligibility (grades) and retention for student athletes that's designed to predict ultimate graduation rates. The NCAA graduation success rate is a measure of graduation, which differs from the federal measure by allowing schools to count students who transfer in as well as students who left with eligibility. GSR is only calculated for the students on scholarship. (For this reason, Princeton has no available GSR because it does not offer athletic scholarships. The Daily Beast projected a score based on its Academic Progress Rate scores for the purpose of its ranking on this list. Similar projections were made for teams who had new coaches without a track record.)

While the NCAA penalizes a team if players don’t perform in the classroom (or if they leave school altogether), it’s far from a faultless system. There’s little incentive for students to stay in school should the promise of pro ball come calling—their school will be punished only once they have left the campus. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan argued last year that any team unable to graduate at least 40 percent of their players should be barred from participation in March Madness, though the suggestion didn’t gain traction.. If it had, Temple, the University of Connecticut and the University of Arizona would be benched, among others. To see how your favorite ranks, see below.

Gallery: The Top 25 Smartest Teams in the Tournament

See the Full List Here

#1, Princeton University

Coach: Sydney Johnson NCAA Seed: 13 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 996 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 100 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 1,000

#2, Brigham Young University

Coach: Dave Rose NCAA Seed: 3 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 995 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 100 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 995.75

#3, Belmont

Coach: Rick Byrd NCAA Seed: 13 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 995 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 100 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 990.5

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#4, Notre Dame

Coach: Mike Brey NCAA Seed: 2 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 983 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 100 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 980.83

#5, Villanova

Coach: Jay Wright NCAA Seed: 9 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 980 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 978 Graduation Success Rate: 100 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 986.33

#6, Illinois

Coach: Bruce Webber NCAA Seed: 9 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 979 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 980 Graduation Success Rate: 100 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 982.5

#7, Wofford

Coach: Mike Young NCAA Seed: 14 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 972 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 100 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 960

#8, Xavier

Coach: Chris Mack NCAA Seed: 6 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 985 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 92 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 1,000

#9, Bucknell

Coach: Dave Paulsen NCAA Seed: 14 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 994 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 91 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 1,000

#10, Vanderbilt

Coach: Kevin Stallings NCAA Seed: 5 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 980 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 93 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 977.67

#11, Utah State

Coach: Stew Morrill NCAA Seed: 12 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 946 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 979 Graduation Success Rate: 100 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 931.67

#12, North Carolina

Coach: Roy Williams NCAA Seed: 2 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 995 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 88 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 992.83

#13, University of Arkansas, Little Rock

Coach: Steve Shields NCAA Seed: 16 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 962 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 981 Graduation Success Rate: 92 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 956.17

#14, Boston University

Coach: Patrick Chambers NCAA Seed: 16 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 964 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 980 Graduation Success Rate: 90 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 980

#15, Marquette

Coach: Buzz Williams NCAA Seed: 11 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 975 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 980 Graduation Success Rate: 91 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 945.5

#16, Penn State

Coach: Ed DeChellis NCAA Seed: 10 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 995 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 86 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 971.5

#17, Butler

Coach: Brad Stevens NCAA Seed: 8 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 1,000 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 83 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 1,000

#18, Duke

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski NCAA Seed: 1 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 980 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 83 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 983.17

#19, Kansas

Coach: Bill Self NCAA Seed: 1 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 1,000 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 80 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 984.17

#20, Northern Colorado

Coach: B.J. Hill NCAA Seed: 15 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 926 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 941 Graduation Success Rate: 92 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 941*

#21, Richmond

Coach: Chris Mooney NCAA Seed: 12 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 967 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 83 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 969.2

#22, Gonzaga

Coach: Mark Few NCAA Seed: 11 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 976 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 73 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 977.33

#23, Long Island University

Coach: Jim Ferry NCAA Seed: 15 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 940 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 980 Graduation Success Rate: 78 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 947.83

#24, Oakland

Coach: Greg Kampe NCAA Seed: 13 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 962 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 981 Graduation Success Rate: 75 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 951.67

#25, St. John’s

Coach: Steve Lavin NCAA Seed: 6 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 961 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 979 Graduation Success Rate: 70 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 1,000*

#26, West Virginia

Coach: Bob Huggins NCAA Seed: 5 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 990 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 71 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 935.75

#27, George Mason

Coach: Jim Larranaga NCAA Seed: 8 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 995 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 67 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 971.83

#28, Georgetown

Coach: John Thompson III NCAA Seed: 6 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 937 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 929 Graduation Success Rate: 78 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 939

#29, Wisconsin

Coach: Bo Ryan NCAA Seed: 4 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 966 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 70 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 953.33

#30, Florida State

Coach: Leonard Hamilton NCAA Seed: 10 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 944 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 979 Graduation Success Rate: 73 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 950.33

#31, UC Santa Barbara

Coach: Bob Williams NCAA Seed: 15 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 902 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 979 Graduation Success Rate: 77 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 910.83

#32, Clemson

Coach: Brad Brownell NCAA Seed: 12 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 946 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 918 Graduation Success Rate: 71 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 986.6

#33, Hampton University

Coach: Edward Joyner NCAA Seed: 16 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 948 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 979 Graduation Success Rate: 67 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 979*

#34, Texas A&M

Coach: Mark Turgeon NCAA Seed: 7 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 986 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 980 Graduation Success Rate: 64 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 961.6

#35, UCLA

Coach: Ben Howland NCAA Seed: 7 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 968 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 930 Graduation Success Rate: 70 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 939.5

#36, Purdue

Coach: Matt Painter NCAA Seed: 3 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 919 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 67 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 916.75

#37, Old Dominion

Coach: Blaine Taylor NCAA Seed: 9 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 947 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 980 Graduation Success Rate: 63 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 961.5

#38, UNLV

Coach: Lon Kruger NCAA Seed: 8 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 947 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 943 Graduation Success Rate: 67 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 923

#39, Memphis

Coach: Josh Pastner NCAA Seed: 12 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 979 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 980 Graduation Success Rate: 58 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 980*

#40, Ohio State

Coach: Thad Matta NCAA Seed: 1 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 929 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 979 Graduation Success Rate: 64 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 924.4

#41, Pittsburgh

Coach: Jamie Dixon NCAA Seed: 1 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 962 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 922 Graduation Success Rate: 64 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 941.33

#42, Indiana State

Coach: Greg Lansing NCAA Seed: 14 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 935 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 923 Graduation Success Rate: 67 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 923*

#43, St. Peter’s

Coach: John Dunne NCAA Seed: 14 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 928 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 881 Graduation Success Rate: 70 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 898.33

#44, Michigan State

Coach: Tom Izzo NCAA Seed: 10 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 1,000 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 50 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 975.67

#45, VCU

Coach: Shaka Smart NCAA Seed: 11 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 975 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 940 Graduation Success Rate: 56 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 960*

#46, Cincinnati

Coach: Mick Cronin NCAA Seed: 6 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 945 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 990 Graduation Success Rate: 53 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 960.8

#47, San Diego State

Coach: Steve Fisher NCAA Seed: 2 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 921 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 941 Graduation Success Rate: 58 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 934.17

#48, UNC Asheville

Coach: Eddie Biedenbach NCAA Seed: 16 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 960 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 978 Graduation Success Rate: 50 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 957.17

#49, University of Washington

Coach: Lorenzo Romar NCAA Seed: 7 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 990 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 44 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 954

#50, Missouri

Coach: Mike Anderson NCAA Seed: 11 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 979 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 44 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 956.6

#51, Louisville

Coach: Rick Pitino NCAA Seed: 4 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 951 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 923 Graduation Success Rate: 50 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 956.2

#52, Texas

Coach: Rick Barnes NCAA Seed: 4 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 1,000 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 42 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 945.67

#53, Alabama State

Coach: Lewis Jackson NCAA Seed: 16 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 907 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 826 Graduation Success Rate: 63 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 908.75

#54, University of Texas-San Antonio

Coach: Brooks Thompson NCAA Seed: 16 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 885 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 963 Graduation Success Rate: 50 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 923.33

#55, Syracuse

Coach: Jim Boeheim NCAA Seed: 3 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 912 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 865 Graduation Success Rate: 54 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 933.5

#56, University of Southern California

Coach: Kevin O’Neill NCAA Seed: 11 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 924 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 980 Graduation Success Rate: 42 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 980

#57, Florida

Coach: Billy Donovan NCAA Seed: 2 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 956 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 957 Graduation Success Rate: 44 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 940

#58, Kentucky

Coach: John Calipari NCAA Seed: 4 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 954 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 922 Graduation Success Rate: 44 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 941.6

#59, University of Akron

Coach: Keith Dambrot NCAA Seed: 15 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 951 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 38 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 953

#60, Tennessee

Coach: Bruce Pearl NCAA Seed: 9 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 935 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 40 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 930

#61, Michigan

Coach: John Beilen NCAA Seed: 8 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 956 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 1,000 Graduation Success Rate: 36 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 949.6

#62, Kansas State

Coach: Frank Martin NCAA Seed: 5 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 924 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 958 Graduation Success Rate: 40 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 960.5

#63, Morehead State

Coach: Donnie Tyndall NCAA Seed: 13 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 906 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 960 Graduation Success Rate: 43 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 927

#64, Georgia

Coach: Mark Fox NCAA Seed: 10 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 944 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 980 Graduation Success Rate: 36 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 945.5

#65, Temple

Coach: Fran Dunphy NCAA Seed: 7 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 934 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 939 Graduation Success Rate: 33 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 963.8

#66, Arizona

Coach: Sean Miller NCAA Seed: 5 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 944 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 933 Graduation Success Rate: 20 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 980.33

#67, Connecticut

Coach: Jim Calhoun NCAA Seed: 3 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 930 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 844 Graduation Success Rate: 31 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 923.67

#68, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Coach: Mike Davis NCAA Seed: 12 Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 825 2008-2009 Academic Progreess Rate: 732 Graduation Success Rate: 25 Coach Career Average Academic Progress Rate: 859.4