If you follow the women’s bracket for March Madness, you know that UConn has the perennial edge to take the championship. Geno Auriemma has built a powerhouse team, and they roll to undefeated or nearly undefeated regular seasons year after year. UConn is always in the Final Four in the tournament, and usually wins. Lots of UConn players go on to the WNBA. Auriemma has done a lot for the women’s game, both on the college and the professional level.
But what if the winner were based on graduation rates over 6 years? And yes, 6 years is now considered the normal time to get through college. That’s a change from the 1960’s when I went to the College of St. Elizabeth. Few of us could have scraped up the money to stick around for an additional two years in order to accumulate the necessary number of credits.
Back to the winner based on graduation rates: Stanford. Not a surprise, but I am surprised that UConn doesn’t make it out of the first round if academics are the criteria. The Final Four are Stanford, Villanova, Creighton, and Virginia.
There’s a bit of a tussle, always, over whether elite college athletes are students first, or athletes first. If my granddaughter turned out to be an elite basketball player and asked me where she should go, I’d pick Stanford hands down. They have a great, winning team, and are strong on academics too.