March Madness Basketball Brackets: Who Shouldn't Get an Invite?

With March Madness in full swing, I want to pose this question: Should schools be allowed a spot in the NCAA basketball brackets if they can’t manage to graduate their basketball players?

I think it’s only fair to bar these basketball teams from participating in March Madness and, more importantly, so does Arne Duncan, a former Harvard basketball player, who is secretary of the US Department of Education.

Duncan recommended this week that a university must graduate at least 40% of its players to be eligible to participate in March Madness. Actually, that seems like an awfully low bar.

Some colleges are doing an excellent job of graduating their basketball players, according to an annual survey from the University of Central Florida. In the men’s 2010 NCAA brackets, six schools are graduating 100% of its players:

  • Brigham Young University
  • Marquette University
  • Notre Dame University
  • Utah State University
  • Wake Forest University
  • Wofford College

Other universities with high graduation rates for their men’s teams are:

  • Duke University    92%
  • Lehigh University 92%
  • Vermont University 92%
  • Villanova University 92%
  • Butler University   90%
  • Xavier University 89%

There are, however, plenty of turkeys, which are doing a lousy job of ensuring that their players leave with a diploma.

  • University of Maryland                            8%   (Not a typo!)
  • 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                                    36%
  • Clemson University                                 37%
  • Georgia Tech                                             38%
  • University of Louisville                           38%

You can read more about the 2010 March Madness brackets and grad rates at my CBSMoneyWatch college blog.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution, an Amazon bestseller. Follow her on Twitter.

Read more:

Why College Graduation Rates are a Disgrace

What are the Chances of Graduating in Four Years?

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  1. I can agree with what you are saying but when you look at the way they calculate those rates it is very misleading. Take Baylor’s case. The rate is figured using data from several years back. No need to discuss the issues but as you all know they had the situation and completely purged and had most of the team transfer out to another school. Because of this Baylor is being penalized in this stat because of all the issues. Baylor is now graduating their players up with the ones listed at the first of your blog but is being penalized as the numbers being used are old data that is no longer relevant.