The All-Academic Women's Tournament Bracket

Our annual look at who would win the NCAA's Division I women's basketball tournament if academics trumped athletic skill.

March 15, 2017

Women's basketball gets a lot less than attention than the men's game does in most outlets. But here at Inside Higher Ed, we strive for equal opportunity (whether people like it or not).

So in that spirit, here's our annual look at how the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I women's basketball tournament would turn out if the teams advanced based on their academic performance rather than their skills on the court. (The men's bracket appeared Monday.)

Here's how it works: to determine the winners of each game in the tournament, we compare the academic performance of teams, as measured by the NCAA's own -- admittedly less-than-perfect -- metrics for judging academic success. 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 here to see who emerges the winner of this year's Academic Performance Tournament. And let the games begin.


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