Post Academic

The geek’s version of March Madness, East and Southeast Regions

Posted in Absurdities by Arnold Pan on March 19, 2010
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Hope you enjoyed the first day of March Madness, which featured a pretty good number of nailbiters (sorry, Vandy fans) and more OT games in a single day than I can remember.  Just in case you don’t have an alma mater in the tourney or don’t have a rooting interest, we’re providing a handy guide on who you can pull for if you care about academics and graduation rates — and want a team that could win a few games.  (By the way, I’m 12 for 16 in my bracket, and winning the group I’m in!)  For the guidelines, go here.

East Bracket — Winner: Wake Forest

Summary: Lucky for us, Wake pulled out a great last-shot win in OT against U Texas, after trailing by 8 points with a few minutes left.  The team with a 963 Academic Progress Rate (APR) and 100% graduation rate (GSR) beat the highly esteemed and very large state university, which had a stronger 975 APR, but a lower 42% GSR (which was probably Kevin Durant’s fault for leaving after his frosh year).  The bracket’s other top contender, Marquette, with its 970 APR/100% GSR didn’t far so well, losing by 2 to U-Dub.  Interestingly, this bracket features a number of large state universities, some with very strong reputations that underachieve a bit in APR and GSR:

U Kentucky: 949 APR/31% GSR

U Wisconsin: 933 APR/78% GSR

U Washington: 956 APR/29% GSR

U New Mexico: 909 APR/43% GSR

Mizzou: 959 APR/36% GSR

Cornell is in this bracket and would be in the running, but I deem them ineligible for not providing any grad rate data.

Southeast Bracket — Winner: Duke (UGH!)

Summary: Let the hating begin, but it’s hard to deny that Duke enjoys a rare blend of academic reputation and basketball legacy–and snotty whining on the court.  The numbers don’t lie, either: 989 APR/92% GSR, and that’s with rosters with plenty of draftable underclassman talent.  You’d think it would be more of a walk here, but Notre Dame–the Duke of football–(982 APR/100% GSR) and Villanova (985 APR/92% GSR and maybe even more recent basketball success than Duke) give the Dukies a pretty good scare, actually.

Otherwise, the biggest surprise in this region is just how disappointing the mighty UC Berkeley is!  Perhaps the most academically accomplished school in the country can only muster a puny 944 APR/20%(!) GSR, bested by its first-round opponent Louisville with a 965 APR/38% GSR.

It’s not a good idea in any way to bet on a Kansas-BYU-Wake Forest-Duke Final Four (though KU and Duke are prime picks), but, if you do hit paydirt using the geek method, give us a cut, won’t you?  We’ll recap how the nerds did next week, and give you our Final Four picks then!

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