Duke, Kentucky, Villanova, Gonzaga, Michigan State among best in classroom

The NCAA has released its annual APR Public Recognition Awards. Forty-four Division I men's basketball programs are highlighted. Thirteen of the 44 made the 2017 NCAA Tournament. So it's a time to boast for that baker's dozen worth of teams. 

What is all this, anyway? APR stands for Academic Progress Rate. It's the NCAA's (flawed but perhaps necessary) way of keeping checks and balances on all sanctioned sports when it comes to classroom performance. Though there are cynics and critics, the NCAA as we know it will forever remain attached to the ideal of human beings as students first, athletes second (thus student-athlete). 

So with the APR, which is now more than a decade old, this is the deal: You graduate your players, you get good scores, good pub and stay in the clear. You avoid penalties and sanctions. But if your APR hits a low mark (below 930), over a four-year average, you're ineligible for the ensuing postseason, among other penalties. 

If you'd like to know more, as this is something that's turned into a PR point and real threat to every program, a full breakdown is here. The NCAA will soon announce all of its most recent APR data (the rolling four-year period, including the 2015-16 academic year), so we'll find out then what schools are ineligible for the 2018 postseason. 

But for now, the good news. With the release this week of the top APR averages, here are the multi-year APR winners, the programs who had top-score averages from 2012-13 through 2015-16. An asterisk indicates the team made the 2017 NCAA Tournament

  • Arizona State University
  • Belmont University
  • Bradley University
  • Bucknell University*
  • California State University, Sacramento
  • Clemson University
  • Colgate University
  • College of William & Mary
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Columbia University-Barnard College
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Davidson College
  • Duke University*
  • Elon University
  • Gonzaga University*
  • Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne
  • La Salle University
  • Lafayette College
  • Michigan State University*
  • Monmouth University
  • Old Dominion University
  • Princeton University*
  • Sam Houston State University
  • Seattle University
  • Seton Hall University*
  • Stanford University
  • Stony Brook University
  • Syracuse University
  • Temple University
  • Towson University
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Florida*
  • University of Kentucky*
  • University of Louisiana at Monroe
  • University of Louisville*
  • University of Michigan*
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Toledo
  • University of Utah
  • University of Vermont*
  • Valparaiso University
  • Villanova University*
  • West Virginia University*
CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his seventh season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics and... Full Bio

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