Kansas Wins Inside Higher Ed's 2014 Tourney

LAWRENCE, Kan. – They’re cutting down academic nets again. For the third time in the last five years the Kansas Jayhawks have been crowned the champions of Inside Higher Ed’s NCAA Academic Tournament, the publication’s annual academic showdown.

KU’s men’s basketball team has reached the final four in each of the last five seasons and has been to the title game in four of the last five seasons, including additional crowns in 2012 and 2010.  The publication uses the actual NCAA Tournament bracket and declares winners based on the schools’ Academic Progress Rates (APR).  KU’s men’s basketball team boasts a perfect multiyear APR of 1,000, as it has for the past seven years.

The Jayhawks beat Eastern Kentucky, New Mexico, Dayton and Florida to reach the 2014 “Final Four,” then topped Memphis and Texas to win the championship.
The APR rewards teams whose players stay in good academic standing and remain enrolled from semester to semester.  Inside Higher Ed broke ties by using the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR), a variation of the graduation rate that considers transfers and does not punish teams whose athletes leave college before graduation if they leave in good academic standing.  If a further tiebreaker is needed, the publication uses the Federal Graduation Rate, which deducts points when student-athletes, for any reason, do not graduate from the school at which he originally enrolled.

The NCAA tweeted this week that KU is the only team in the NCAA Tournament field of 68 with a perfect APR and a 100 percent Graduation Success Rate.  Last year KU was one of only three schools in the tournament field (Belmont, Notre Dame) to achieve those numbers; no other tournament teams have accomplished that feat in the five years the NCAA has tracked those statistics.

Here’s a link to the Inside Higher Ed story: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/03/17/who-would-win-ncaa-tournament-if-games-were-decided-academic-performance

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