According to Inside Higher Ed, if the March Madness of college basketball was based on academic performance, the Seton Hall University men's team would finish in the "Elite Eight."
Seton Hall returns to the actual NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament this year for the second time in a row, the first back-to-back appearances for the school since 1991-94. Last year, the Pirates gained their berth after defeating eventual National Champion Villanova for the BIG EAST Championship.
Seton Hall has built a tradition of academic excellence among its student-athletes. In the most recent assessment, 203 athletes (more than 80 percent of all Seton Hall's student-athletes) were named "Big East Academic All Stars."
Nationally, in its most recent Academic Progress Report (APR), the NCAA noted that all 14 varsity programs at Seton Hall achieved four-year scores higher than the national average and that the men's basketball team was one of only 18 Division I schools men's basketball teams to receive a multi-year score of 1000 – the highest score possible.
The Seton Hall men's basketball team was honored for this distinction, receiving the NCAA's APR Recognition Award for academic achievement in the top 10 percent of their sport. Five other Seton Hall varsity sports teams also received perfect APR scores of 1000 and likewise were recognized with the award from the NCAA. The men's basketball team also received the NCAA Recognition Award in 2015 and the National Association of Basketball Coaches' Academic Excellence Award in 2016.
"Our men's basketball team has not only proven to be a leader among its peers on the court, but also a leader off the court in academic excellence," said Seton Hall Vice President and Director of Athletics & Recreation Pat Lyons said. "This recognition and our NCAA Tournament berth are the direct result of our passionate student-athletes and coaching staff, who have dedicated all of their time to ensuring excellence in both areas."
This is the twelfth year that Inside Higher Ed has produced its "Academic Bracket" for the NCAA Basketball Tournament. To determine the winners, Inside Higher Ed judges teams based on "the Academic Progress Rate, the N.C.A.A.'s multiyear measure of a team's classroom performance," and "the N.C.A.A.'s Graduation Success Rate, which measures the proportion of athletes on track to graduate within six years."
Read more and see the full NCAA Tournament "Academic Bracket."