Academic Slam Dunk, Round 2

On day two of the annual Academic Performance Tournament, we reveal which women's team would win March Madness if victories were based on classroom progress.

March 19, 2013

Welcome to the second annual women's Academic Performance Tournament, where the seeds are irrelevant and studies are paramount. In this reimagined March Madness, we determine the winners of the National Collegiate Athletic Association women's basketball tournament based on classroom skills, not court finesse.

That's not to say the two are mutually exclusive -- although the 2012 men's bracket saw more similarities between the academic winners and the athletic ones than the women's bracket did. Last year, DePaul took the academic title, while Baylor emerged victorious on the court. (Both teams look to repeat their respective titles this year.)

In our tournament, teams progress based on their multiyear Academic Progress Rate, an NCAA measure of their classroom performance. When two teams with perfect APRs meet, we turn to the NCAA's Graduation Success Rate, which measures the proportion of athletes on track to matriculate within six years. If teams mirror one another on that score -- and a handful did this year -- our ultimate tiebreaker is the federal graduation rate.

We had a few nail-biter match-ups this year, with the tournament champion edging out the runner-up by a single GSR point. Check out the bracket below (and if you missed it Monday, click here for the results of the men's tournament).


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Allie Grasgreen

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