Education Sector has put together an enlightening analysis of NCAA (March Madness) using a slightly different criteria: academic success.

Here are a few quick hits about the bracket:

  • Smartest Region: The West region has far and away the best average graduation rate at 57 percent. That’s 9 percentage points ahead of the South, which is the next best.
  • Worst Region: The Midwest region performed poorly, posting an average graduation rate of just 41 percent. It’s the only region without a team at 80 percent or above.
  • Best Combined Graduation Rate Matchup: Tied between Kansas vs. Lehigh and Purdue vs. Siena, which have an average graduation rate of 70 percent.
  • Worst Combined Graduation Rate Matchup: Maryland vs. Houston with an average graduation rate of just 11 percent.
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