According to Inside Higher Ed, if the March Madness of college basketball was based on academic performance Seton Hall would finish in the "Elite Eight."
Seton Hall returns to the actual NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament this year for the third time in a row.
In each of those last three years it has gone to college basketball's big dance, where some of the best universities in the country compete against one another, it has, according to Inside Higher Ed, outperformed the overwhelming majority of its competition where it counts – in the classroom.
Academically, Seton Hall has made it twice to the Elite Eight, and once to the Final Four in the last three years.
"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. "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." He continued, "I'd also like to thank our academic support staff and our administrators for continuing to prioritize the classroom in keeping with our vision to push our student-athletes towards academic success."
Seton Hall has built a tradition of academic excellence among its student-athletes.
This year, Seton Hall's student-athletes enjoyed another banner semester in the classroom, finishing Fall 2017 with a department-record 3.378 cumulative grade-point average (GPA). The increase in cumulative GPA continues a years-long trend of record academic success. In seven years, the cumulative GPA has risen from 3.174 at the end of 2010-11 to today's milestone number.
In addition, the Pirates placed 135 student-athletes on the Seton Hall University Dean's List for the Fall 2017 semester, representing more than 54 percent of the student-athlete population.
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 20 Division I schools men's basketball teams across the nation to receive a multi-year score of 1000 – the highest score possible and a full 34 points above the national average for the sport.
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.
Athletic Director Lyons said, "As always, our students ultimately deserve the credit for being able to successfully balance their classroom responsibilities with their athletic commitments. They understand what it takes to be prosperous in life after graduation, and it is rewarding to see that they are taking advantages of the education opportunities they have been afforded. They truly embody what it means to be a student-athlete."
This is the thirteenth 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."