NCAA Women: Who Wins Based on Academics?

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 onĀ  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.

2 thoughts on “NCAA Women: Who Wins Based on Academics?

  1. for J: I think all college athletic programs, even the elite ones, have to take responsibility for the fact that these kids are in college and have a responsibility to learn something useful. Some of these programs that let their top athletes take made-up majors and skip most of their classes, just because of their athletic talent, are shameful. The kids suffer in the long run, after the glitz and glory of the college career is over.

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