If academics determined NCAA tourney winner, Butler would take title


As far as Inside Higher Ed is concerned, Butler University has already won the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

The Bulldogs won the organization’s sixth annual bracket, which analyzes how the teams would fare if the competition were based on academic performance outcomes.

The academic bracket predictions differ greatly from the reality of the tournament, with Butler being the only team from Inside Higher Ed’s final four picks that has advanced that far.

In the academic bracket, Butler won the championship title after defeating Texas.

The bracket winners were determined using the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate and ties were broken using the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate, according to the Inside Higher Ed Web site.

Past winners of Inside Higher Ed’s bracket are North Carolina and Kansas.

VCU exited the bracket after a loss to Texas A&M in the regional semifinals (Sweet 16).

The recognition comes after senior starter Matt Howard was named the 2010-11 NCAA Division I Academic All-American of the year.

Players like Howard are the ones who Butler head coach Brad Stevens said coaches dream about.

“When you’re dreaming of coaching an you think of the guy who’s going to give you everything he has and represent your school in a positive manner in every way to the best of his ability, you think of Matt Howard,” Stevens said.

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