How March Madness Breaks Down Academically

It’s time for March Madness, which means you need bragging rights. Peruse the rankings for your school.

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When March Madness rolls around, there are plenty of ways to compare your school with other institutions. In the NCAA and conference tournaments, there are seeds that rate college basketball teams. There are polls every week that list what coaches and the media think are the top 25 teams. And at U.S. News, we have our famous academic rankings.

For the second year in a row, we've compiled rankings of every Division I men's and women's basketball program and categorized them by conference. The lists are based on our 2010 America's Best Colleges rankings. We left no stone unturned, covering 34 different leagues, from the Atlantic 10 Conference to the Western Athletic Conference. Some of the listings have surprises; others don't. It shouldn't shock anyone that Duke, which won its conference championship and got a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, is also the academic leader of the Atlantic Coast Conference. And for Rice University alumni looking for something to brag about after their hoops team finished last in Conference USA, how about the top academic spot in the league as a consolation prize?

[Listen to U.S. News's Beyond the Hardwood 2010 podcast series.]

Look, we can't help you fill out your bracket with all the right basketball knowledge. But we can give you some insight into the rivalries that make college basketball—and March—one of the best shows on earth.

Check out the conference lists here:

And for added entertainment, we broke down the actual NCAA Tournament regional brackets by academic rankings, too.