Duke, North Carolina and 7 Programs with Great Academics and Great Basketball

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIIAugust 12, 2011

Duke, North Carolina and 7 Programs with Great Academics and Great Basketball

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    College is actually not all about basketball, it is also about having great academics like these schools. The Duke Blue Devils were prestigious for schooling in the classroom before they were for doing so on the court, and each coach has kept that tradition, all the way to Mike Krzyzewski.

    Duke and the North Carolina Tar Heels were both ranked highly by US News, with Duke being in the top 10, and North Carolina was ranked No. 30.

    The two teams are rivals both academically and when it comes to basketball, but they are not the only schools who are highly regarded around the country in terms of both basketball and academics. These seven schools all share that in common.

Notre Dame

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    The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have had a long history in college basketball, including a 1,701-927 record with 31 NCAA tournament appearances, including one in 2011.

    The Fighting Irish have proven their success to us on countless occasions, and no more needs to be said about them.

    Academically, the Fighting Irish are once again elite. They were ranked No. 19 in the nation overall by US News.

    Notre Dame requires a weighted GPA over 4.0 for most applicants who are not 6'10" with a three-foot vertical and excellent basketball skills. They also demand high SAT scores, averaging about 2050 out of 2400.

    Notre Dame is an elite university in more ways than one, landing them on this list.


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    Georgetown University is another Top 25 school, ranked at No. 21 according to US News, which is ironic because I ranked them No. 21 in terms of the winningest programs in college hoops.

    The Hoyas have gone 1,520-946 in their history, making 26 NCAA tournament appearances and winning one in 1984. The Hoyas have won 10 conference tournaments and have made it to four national championship games.

    Georgetown is not all basketball, however, as they are even better in terms of academics. They were ranked No. 21 as I said, and their general acceptance numbers for the 2010 class were very impressive.

    Singular scores in SAT subjects of math, critical reading and writing out of 800 were about 700 or higher, with the average being about 750. About 85 percent of accepted students were in the top five percent of their high school class.

    Georgetown is very selective both in sports and in terms of education, making them one of the best overall colleges in the nation.


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    Villanova University is incredibly selective. Their requirements for students from a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence are as follows: 3.92 GPA, 1380 SAT out of 1600, 2054 SAT out of 2400 and excellent involvement in extracurriculars.

    They have also had a great history in college basketball. They are 1,551-807 with 32 NCAA tournament appearances and one national championship in 1985, as the lowest seed to ever win it all.

    They have made it to 16 Sweet 16s, 12 Elite Eights and four Final Fours in their history, making them one of the more decorated teams in college hoops.

    Villanova is not only a school that you want to go to for academics, but also to check out all of the games.


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    UCLA is the winningest program in college hoops, winning 11 NCAA tournaments in 44 appearances. They won nine out of 10 and 10 out of 12 titles under John Wooden, helping them solidify their position as the greatest sports team in history.

    The Bruins are 1,709-755 in their history, making it to 18 Final Fours and 13 national championship games, going 11-2 in the finals of the NCAA tournament.

    UCLA is also a very good school in terms of academics. They are ranked No. 25 by US News because of their stringent requirements for acceptance, including an average of a 3.9 GPA and a 2250 SAT score.

    UCLA has produced some great minds and some great players in their long history, and they are a lock for any conversation ranking schools based off of academics or basketball.


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    The Michigan Wolverines may have had several accomplishments of theirs voided because of violations back from the days of the Fab Five.

    The Wolverines have gone 1,373-928 with 22 NCAA tournament appearances, making it to six Final Fours, five national championship games and winning one NCAA tournament.

    While they have been very successful, you'd think that they would be smart enough to abide by the rules, because their academics are very impressive.

    Michigan was ranked No. 29 by US News, due partly to their elite business school. Michigan wants to see a 3.97 GPA and a 2081 SAT score for most applicants, but they make exceptions to keep their basketball program strong.

    Michigan is our fifth school on the list, and they are one of the best.

North Carolina

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    Given that they're in the title, the North Carolina Tar Heels had to make it on this list. The team is the third-winningest program and the No. 30 school by US News.

    They have gone 2,033-729 in their history, including making it to 42 NCAA tournaments. They have also won 35 regular-season conference titles and 25 conference tournaments.

    The Tar Heels have had a lot of success in the NCAA tournament, going 102-39 (second-most wins, third-best winning percentage) and winning five NCAA tournaments.

    North Carolina is known for combining basketball with education. Even the Fiske Guide for UNC says:

    "With more than 80 percent of the spots in each class reserved for in-staters, admission is next to impossible for out-of-staters who aren’t 6’9” with a 43-inch vertical jump."

    UNC is a very prestigious institution whose demands for out-of-staters are incredibly high, and they are regarded as one of the best institutions in America.


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    The Duke Blue Devils are the fourth-winningest program in college basketball history, and are the No. 9 school in America.

    The Blue Devils have won four NCAA tournaments in 35 appearances. Duke has won 22 regular-season titles and 24 conference tournaments. They are 94-30 in the NCAA tournament, which is the highest winning percentage of any team.

    The Blue Devils have had a ton of success in the college basketball world, and they continue to do so with back-to-back No. 1 seeds and a national championship in 2010. As long as Mike Krzyzewski remains coach, the team will be amazing, and they will continue their success even when he leaves.

    Duke asks for a 4.09 weighted GPA and a 2183 on the SATs out of 2400 from their students, not to mention the rigorous courses and excellent involvement in the community.

    Duke then keeps their students working incredibly hard, but the education they receive is definitely worth it.