Which March Madness team is the smartest? Ranking the schools and athletes on academics

As March Madness kicks off, 68 teams have an opportunity to win college basketball glory. While athletic skills and coaching will decide which team wins the NCAA Men's Basketball National Championship, it's far from the only way to stack the schools up.

When it comes to academics, different schools top the rankings.

U.S. News and World Report, one of the premiere academic ranking outlets, has Princeton at the top of its list. Duke, Northwestern and Notre Dame also claim high spots on the national university rankings. Schools including Providence and Gonzaga rank well among their respective regions

Click through to see the academic rankings of March Madness schools:

69 PHOTOS
The academic ranking of teams in the 2017 March Madness tournament
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The academic ranking of teams in the 2017 March Madness tournament
Princeton

NCAA seed: 50

U.S News & World Report: #1 National University 

Duke

NCAA seed: 7

U.S News & World Report: #8 National University (tie) 

Northwestern

NCAA seed: 32

U.S News & World Report: #12 National University (tie) 

Notre Dame

NCAA seed: 19

U.S News & World Report: #15 National University (tie) 

Vanderbilt

NCAA seed: 33

U.S News & World Report: #15 National University (tie) 

University of Southern California

NCAA seed: 45

U.S News & World Report: #23 National University 

UCLA

NCAA seed: 11

U.S News & World Report: #24 National University (tie) 

Virginia

NCAA seed: 17

U.S News & World Report: #24 National University (tie) 

Michigan

NCAA seed: 27

U.S News & World Report: #27 National University (tie) 

Wake Forest

NCAA seed: 43

U.S News & World Report: #27 National University (tie) 

North Carolina - Chapel Hill

NCAA seed: 3

U.S News & World Report: #30 National University

Wisconsin - Madison

NCAA seed: 29

U.S News & World Report: #44 National University (tie) 
University of Miami

NCAA seed: 30

U.S News & World Report: #44 National University (tie) 

University of California, Davis

NCAA seed: 65

U.S News & World Report: #44 National University (tie) 

Villanova

NCAA seed: 1

U.S News & World Report: #50 National University (tie) 

Florida

NCAA seed: 14

U.S News & World Report: #50 National University (tie) 
Southern Methodist University (SMU)

NCAA seed: 21

U.S News & World Report: #56 National University (tie) 

Maryland - College Park

NCAA seed: 23

U.S News & World Report: #60 National University (tie) 

Baylor

NCAA seed: 12

U.S News & World Report: #71 National University (tie) 

Minnesota

NCAA seed: 18

U.S News & World Report: #71 National University (tie) 

Virginia Tech

NCAA seed: 36

U.S News & World Report: #74 National University (tie) 

Michigan State

NCAA seed: 35

U.S News & World Report: #82 National University (tie) 

Marquette

NCAA seed: 39

U.S News & World Report: #86 National University (tie) 

Florida State

NCAA seed: 10

U.S News & World Report: #92 National University (tie) 
Vermont

NCAA seed: 53

U.S News & World Report: #92 National University (tie) 

Oregon

NCAA seed: 9

U.S News & World Report: #103 National University (tie) 
South Carolina

NCAA seed: 26

U.S News & World Report: #107 National University (tie) 

Iowa State

NCAA seed: 20

U.S News & World Report: #111 National University (tie) 

Dayton

NCAA seed: 28

U.S News & World Report: #111 National University (tie) 

Kansas

NCAA seed: 2

U.S News & World Report: #118 National University (tie) 

Seton Hall

NCAA seed: 34

U.S News & World Report: #118 National University (tie) 

Arizona

NCAA seed: 6

U.S News & World Report: #124 National University (tie) 

Kentucky

NCAA seed: 5

U.S News & World Report: #133 National University (tie) 

Cincinnati

NCAA seed: 22

U.S News & World Report: #135 National University (tie) 

Arkansas - Little Rock

NCAA seed: 31

U.S News & World Report: #135 National University (tie) 

Kansas State

NCAA seed: 46

U.S News & World Report: #135 National University (tie) 
Oklahoma State

NCAA seed: 37

U.S News & World Report: #152 National University (tie) 

Rhode Island

NCAA seed: 44

U.S News & World Report: #159 National University (tie) 

Virginia Commonwealth University - VCU

NCAA seed: 40

U.S News & World Report: #164 National University (tie) 
Louisville

NCAA seed: 8

U.S News & World Report: #171 National University (tie) 

West Virginia

NCAA seed: 15

U.S News & World Report: #183 National University (tie) 
Kent State

NCAA seed: 57

U.S News & World Report: #188 National University (tie) 

North Dakota

NCAA seed: 62

U.S News & World Report: #188 National University (tie) 

Purdue

NCAA seed: 16

U.S News & World Report: #197 National University (tie) 

Nevada - Reno

NCAA seed: 47

U.S News & World Report: #197 National University (tie) 

South Dakota State

NCAA seed: 64

U.S News & World Report: #202 National University 
New Mexico State

NCAA seed: 55

U.S News & World Report: #220 National University (tie) 

Bucknell

NCAA seed: 51

U.S News & World Report: #32 National Liberal Arts Colleges

Providence

NCAA seed: 42

U.S News & World Report: #1 Regional Universities North

Creighton

NCAA seed: 24

U.S News & World Report: #1 Regional Universities Midwest

Butler

NCAA seed: 13

U.S News & World Report: #2 Regional Universities Midwest

Xavier

NCAA seed: 41

U.S News & World Report: #4 Regional Universities Midwest (tie)

Gonzaga

NCAA seed: 4

U.S News & World Report: #4 Regional Universities West (tie)

St. Mary's College of California

NCAA seed: 25

U.S News & World Report: #9 Regional Universities West (tie)

UNC Wilmington

NCAA seed: 49

U.S News & World Report: #16 Regional Universities South (tie)

Winthrop

NCAA seed: 54

U.S News & World Report: #26 Regional Universities South

Mount St. Mary’s

NCAA seed: 68

U.S News & World Report: #27 Regional Universities North (tie)
Troy

NCAA seed: 60

U.S News & World Report: #69 Regional Universities North (tie)

North Carolina Central

NCAA seed: 66

U.S News & World Report: #72 Regional Universities South (tie)

Iona

NCAA seed: 58

U.S News & World Report: #75 Regional Universities North (tie)

Florida Gulf Coast

NCAA seed: 56

U.S News & World Report: #82 Regional Universities South (tie)

Northern Kentucky

NCAA seed: 59

U.S News & World Report: #82 Regional Universities South (tie)

Jacksonville State

NCAA seed: 61

U.S News & World Report: #98 Regional Universities South (tie)

Wichita State

NCAA seed: 38

Ranking not published by U.S. News and World Report

Middle Tennessee

NCAA seed: 48

Ranking not published by U.S. News and World Report

East Tennessee State

NCAA seed: 52

Ranking not published by U.S. News and World Report

New Orleans

NCAA seed: 67

Ranking not published by U.S. News and World Report
Texas Southern

NCAA seed: 63

Ranking not published by U.S. News and World Report

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But when it comes to student athletes, the NCAA uses two metrics to measure performance in the classroom: the Graduation success rate (GSR), the and Academic Progress Rate (APR).

SEE ALSO: 7 possible March Madness upsets based on the betting lines

The GSR metric provided by NCAA differs from the federal measure of graduation, allowing schools to include student who transferred into the institution, in addition to those who withdrew with eligibility for graduation. The APR, calculated out of 1,000, is designed to predict the institution's ultimate graduation rates by measuring student athletes' grades and retention.

The Obama administration suggested in 2010 that teams should be barred from participating in March Madness if they failed to graduate at least 40 percent of their players. While the idea didn't become policy, if it had, University of Arizona and University of Connecticut would have benched that season.

Take a look below to see how all March Madness teams ranked from first to worst in grades and graduation rates among their student athletes:

69 PHOTOS
From first to worst: Academic rankings of 2017 March Madness teams
See Gallery
From first to worst: Academic rankings of 2017 March Madness teams
Bucknell

NCAA seed: 51

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 1000
Graduation Success Rate: 100

West Virginia

NCAA seed: 15

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 1000
Graduation Success Rate: 85

Seton Hall

NCAA seed: 34

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 1000
Graduation Success Rate: 80

Florida

NCAA seed: 14

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 1000
Graduation Success Rate: 88

Michigan State

NCAA seed: 35

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 1000
Graduation Success Rate:63
Louisville

NCAA seed: 8

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 1000
Graduation Success Rate: 77

UCLA

NCAA seed: 11

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 996
Graduation Success Rate:92

South Carolina

NCAA seed: 26

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 996
Graduation Success Rate: 75

Kentucky

NCAA seed: 5

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 996
Graduation Success Rate:82

Virginia Commonwealth University - VCU

NCAA seed: 40

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 995
Graduation Success Rate:82

Dayton

NCAA seed: 28

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 995
Graduation Success Rate: 63
Michigan

NCAA seed: 27

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 995
Graduation Success Rate: 91

Duke

NCAA seed: 7

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 995
Graduation Success Rate: 100

Gonzaga

NCAA seed: 4

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 995
Graduation Success Rate: 90

Villanova

NCAA seed: 1

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 994
Graduation Success Rate:100

Kansas

NCAA seed: 2

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 990
Graduation Success Rate:100
Vermont

NCAA seed: 53

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 990
Graduation Success Rate: 100

Creighton

NCAA seed: 24

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 986

Graduation Success Rate:100

Wake Forest

NCAA seed: 43

Multi-year Academic Progress Rate: 983
Graduation Success Rate: 70

Miami

NCAA seed: 30

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 980
Graduation Success Rate: 91

UNC Wilmington

NCAA seed: 49

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 980
Graduation Success Rate: 46

Florida Gulf Coast

NCAA seed: 56

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 980

Graduation Success Rate: 50
Northern Kentucky

NCAA seed: 59

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 980

Graduation Success Rate: 53

Virginia

NCAA seed: 17
2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 979

Graduation Success Rate: 70

Iowa State

NCAA seed: 20

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 979
Graduation Success Rate:78

Florida State

NCAA seed: 10

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 978
Graduation Success Rate: 92
Northwestern

NCAA seed: 32

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 979
Graduation Success Rate: 85

Providence

NCAA seed: 42

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 979
Graduation Success Rate: 40

Princeton

NCAA seed: 50

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 978
Graduation Success Rate: 100

Arizona

NCAA seed: 6

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 979
Graduation Success Rate:91
Vanderbilt

NCAA seed: 33

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 977
Graduation Success Rate: 82

Middle Tennessee

NCAA seed: 48

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 976
Graduation Success Rate:100

Kent State

NCAA seed: 57

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 976
Graduation Success Rate: 80

Wisconsin - Madison

NCAA seed: 29

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 976
Graduation Success Rate: 73
North Dakota

NCAA seed: 62

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 975
Graduation Success Rate:70

Baylor

NCAA seed: 12

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 975
Graduation Success Rate: 71

Kansas State

NCAA seed: 46

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 975
Graduation Success Rate: 88

South Dakota State

NCAA seed: 64

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 975
Graduation Success Rate:91
Butler

NCAA seed: 13

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 974
Graduation Success Rate:100

Notre Dame

NCAA seed: 19

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 974
Graduation Success Rate:100

North Carolina - Chapel Hill

NCAA seed: 3

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 974
Graduation Success Rate:50
Troy

NCAA seed: 60

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 970
Graduation Success Rate: 87

North Carolina Central

NCAA seed: 66

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 969
Graduation Success Rate: 62

Cincinnati

NCAA seed: 22

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 969
Graduation Success Rate:50

Winthrop

NCAA seed: 54

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 966
Graduation Success Rate: 100

Purdue

NCAA seed: 16

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 965
Graduation Success Rate: 92

Oklahoma State

NCAA seed: 37

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 965
Graduation Success Rate: 57

Xavier

NCAA seed: 41

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 964
Graduation Success Rate:91

University of California, Davis

NCAA seed: 65

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 963
Graduation Success Rate:78

Marquette

NCAA seed: 39

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 962
Graduation Success Rate: 67
Minnesota

NCAA seed: 18

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 960
Graduation Success Rate: 73

St. Mary's College of California

NCAA seed: 25

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 960
Graduation Success Rate: 75

Texas Southern

NCAA seed: 63

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 959
Graduation Success Rate:57

University of Southern California

NCAA seed: 45

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 959
Graduation Success Rate: 67

Arkansas - Little Rock

NCAA seed: 31

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 958
Graduation Success Rate: 100

Nevada - Reno

NCAA seed: 47

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 957
Graduation Success Rate:58

New Mexico State

NCAA seed: 55

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 957
Graduation Success Rate: 43

Wichita State

NCAA seed: 38

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 957
Graduation Success Rate:63

Maryland - College Park

NCAA seed: 23

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 953
Graduation Success Rate: 83

Virginia Tech

NCAA seed: 36

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 952
Graduation Success Rate: 80

Mount St. Mary’s

NCAA seed: 68

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 951
Graduation Success Rate: 79

Jacksonville State

NCAA seed: 61

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 947
Graduation Success Rate: 53

Rhode Island

NCAA seed: 44

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 947
Graduation Success Rate: 67

East Tennessee State

NCAA seed: 52

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 933
Graduation Success Rate: 75

Southern Methodist University (SMU)

NCAA seed: 21

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 939
Graduation Success Rate: 85

Oregon

NCAA seed: 9

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 945
Graduation Success Rate: 38

Iona

NCAA seed: 58

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 943
Graduation Success Rate: 85

New Orleans

NCAA seed: 67

2014-2015 Academic Progress Rate: 888
Graduation Success Rate: 33
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