As the first round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament continues, the “brainy bracket“–in which I chose winners based on their academic rankings by U.S. News & World Report–remains largely intact. Harvard’s upset win over Cincinnati preserved their Elite Eight hopes. However, Oklahoma (#101 in U.S. News‘s rankings of national universities) fell to North Dakota State (#190), while Ohio State (#52) fell to Dayton (#112).
So the South and the West regions are a bit of a mess, though the East and the Midwest are fully intact, putting the “brainy bracket” in the 89.9th percentile of all brackets on ESPN.com. The real test comes Friday, when Cal Poly (seeded #16) plays Wichita State (seeded #1). No #16 seed has ever beaten a #1 seed. Yet on the U.S. News list, Cal Poly is the #9 regional university in the west, while Wichita State is completely unranked.