2016 Academic Performance Bracket

Inside Higher Ed's 11th annual academic bracket for the NCAA men's basketball tournament. And the winner is ...

March 14, 2016

For more than a decade, Inside Higher Ed has tried predicting the winner of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I men's basketball tournament. For more than a decade, we've largely been wrong, making the right pick just once.

Some might call it bad luck. Others might say it's because our methods are a little different from what you'd see in a typical office pool.

Here's how Inside Higher Ed's bracket works: to determine the winners, we compare the academic performance of teams, as measured by the NCAA*. We first look to the Academic Progress Rate, the NCAA's multiyear measure of a team's classroom performance.

When two teams tie, 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, we then turn to the Federal Graduation Rate, a different formula that the government uses to track graduation rates.

Click on the bracket below to see the winner, and be sure to check out our women's basketball tournament bracket.

*The NCAA's approach has its critics

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Jake New

Jake New, Reporter, covers student life and athletics for Inside Higher Ed. He joined the publication in June 2014 after writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education and covering education technology for eCampus News. For his work at the Chronicle covering legal disputes between academic publishers and critical librarians, he was awarded the David W. Miller Award for Young Journalists. His work has also appeared in the Bloomington Herald-Times, Indianapolis Monthly, Slate, PBS, Times Higher Education and the Australian. Jake studied journalism at Indiana University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Indiana Daily Student.

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