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Gonzaga basketball teams earn No. 1 seeds in academic bracket

UPDATED: Thu., April 2, 2020

Gonzaga basketball players seem to be pretty good with a basketball or a book in their hands.

GU was the only school to earn No. 1 seeds in men’s and women’s NCAA Tournament brackets determined by graduation rates, academic success and head coaching diversity.

The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida released its first academic brackets, using data from TIDES’ annual studies of graduation rates of men’s and women’s NCAA Tournament teams.

The men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments were canceled in mid-March due to the coronavirus outbreak. No official brackets were released, so TIDES seeded teams in ESPN’s final men’s and women’s bracket projections.

Gonzaga, Michigan and Arizona State were the only schools represented in both brackets. Michigan’s men were seeded No. 1 and the women were No. 3. ASU’s women were a two seed and the men a three seed.

Belmont and Bradley joined GU and Michigan as the men’s top seeds. The second seeds were Michigan State, Villanova, Boston University and West Virginia. Virginia, last year’s national champion, and Kansas were four seeds with Duke on the five line.

East Tennessee State, North Carolina State, Prairie View A&M, Oregon, Texas Tech and UCLA were 16 seeds, which included two First Four games.

Gonzaga’s women shared the top line with Samford, Stanford and Rice. ASU, Creighton, Bucknell and DePaul were No. 2 seeds.

“It’s so that people will see and pay attention to the schools that are doing exceptionally well,” TIDES founder and director Dr. Richard Lapchick told The Associated Press. “And maybe if they’re involved with a school that didn’t make it very far in the brackets or less than they would be predicted to do on the basketball court, then they may as alumni or current students begin discussions on those campuses of what we can do to move up in this particular bracket.”

TIDES’ annual studies focus on teams’ Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and Academic Progress Rate (APR), followed by GSR gaps between white and black players. Diversity of head coaches – by race for men, gender for women – was used as a tiebreaker.

GU women’s basketball has earned a perfect 100% GSR four straight years and men’s basketball for three consecutive seasons, according to the most recent NCAA statistics released in October.

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