Duke, UNC and the Top 5 Schools That Mix Great Academics with Good Basketball

Ethan BackCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2011

Duke, UNC and the Top 5 Schools That Mix Great Academics with Good Basketball

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    College basketball is mainly about the chaos and excitement of March Madness, and the great players and coaches who have the nation's attention for a few months of the year.

    Lost in the jumble is the focus on academics. It is often hard to remember that college basketball players are student-athletes, and student comes first in that title.

    While these players aren't on television because of their accomplishments in the classroom, some of these athletes play ball at elite academic institutions.

    There are many fine universities across the country, and plenty of great college basketball teams, but these five schools combine the two best out of anyone.


    SAT scores according to satscores.us.


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    Location: Washington, D.C.

    Conference: Big East

    25th-75th Percentile SAT Score: 1965-2235

    Georgetown University boasts an excellent basketball tradition along with an outstanding academic record.

    The Hoyas bring in both talented players and students each and every fall. With basketball alumni like Allen Iverson, Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutumbo and Alonzo Mourning, it is tough to beat Georgetown's on-court accomplishments.

    Georgetown has also had multiple U.S. senators, representatives and even Bill Clinton on its campus as students, so it is fair to say that it is a great academic institution as well.


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    Location: Durham, North Carolina

    Conference: ACC

    25th-75th Percentile SAT Score: 2000-2300

    Duke alumni can make a strong argument that their school is the strongest school in the nation when it comes to combining academics and basketball.

    On the hardwood, the Blue Devils have won four NCAA Championships, all under the guidance of Mike Krzyzewski, one of the most recognizable personalities in all of sports. Duke is a constant force in the ACC, and the Cameron Crazies make playing against Duke in Durham an extremely difficult task.

    Duke has had very successful individuals in fields other than basketball on its campus, including Richard Nixon, Ron Paul, Timothy Cook of Apple and even Ken Jeong of The Hangover fame. It is often one of the most difficult universities to be accepted into, and is an elite institution in both basketball and academics.


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    Location: Stanford, California

    Conference: Pac-12

    25th-75th Percentile SAT Score: 2010-2300

    Stanford often has one of the lowest acceptance rates in the nation for incoming students, and its basketball team has had an illustrious history.

    The Cardinal won national championships in 1937, 1938 and 1942, and have most recently made the Sweet Sixteen in 2008. Some of Stanford's most successful basketball players were the Lopez twins, the Collins twins, Josh Childress, Landry Fields and Mark Madsen.

    Academically, Stanford is a top-five caliber university in the nation and is constantly educating some of the world's most influential people.

North Carolina

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    Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

    Conference: ACC

    25th-75th Percentile SAT Score: 1800-2080

    While UNC is overshadowed academically by Duke, it is still an excellent school. As for basketball, no other college overshadows the Tar Heels, who might just have the most successful men's basketball program in the country.

    The Tar Heels have won five NCAA tournaments, most recently in 2009, and have been a force in the ACC for decades. UNC players who have gone on to have great success in the NBA include Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, James Worthy, Antawn Jamison and Bob McAdoo.

    When it comes to education, UNC is often considered to be one of the top public universities in the nation, and it offers various areas of study.


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    Location: Los Angeles, California

    Conference: Pac-12

    25th-75th Percentile SAT Score: 1730-2100

    UCLA is similar to UNC in regards to success on the basketball court combined with being an excellent public university.

    The Bruins have won an unrivaled 11 NCAA Championships, and have done so with some of the most legendary figures in college hoops, including John Wooden, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Tyus Edney and Reggie Miller.

    From an academic standpoint, UCLA offers more than 300 degree programs and has produced 14 Nobel Prize laureates. Given its location in southern California, UCLA is one of the most appealing universities in the United States.