There obviously is more than one way to measure the academic excellence of a university basketball team, but it was nice to see Kansas University claim the national championship in one such calculation.
After the NCAA Tournament bracket was announced Sunday, the Inside Higher Ed website applied academic progress rates to each pairing to pick a winner to advance to the next round. The teams’ graduation rates were used to break any ties. KU, Texas, Lehigh and Davidson advanced to the academic Final Four. With a perfect academic progress score of 1,000 and a graduation score of 91 out of a possible 100, KU beat out all opponents to claim the national championship. It also won the contest in 2010 and was in the bracket’s Final Four last year.
The annual bracket may not be a perfect measure of academic success, but it is a welcome endorsement of the efforts of team members, their teachers and their academic counselors and tutors. As Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little noted on Tuesday, it’s just too bad not every KU student can have such a dedicated team to help them be academically successful.
Nonetheless, the KU team’s academic victory is notable. As they head into NCAA Tournament play, it’s nice to know the players are winners both on the court and in the classroom.