Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

March 15, 2016

Tenth Annual Catholic Colleges in March Madness

Here we are again with our tenth annual look at Catholic colleges who have qualified for the NCAA Men’s and Women’s basketball tournaments, also known as “March Madness.”

The exercise is an interesting one because many of your students are familiar with filling out brackets for an NCAA pool and you can use the current nature and popularity of the event to teach something about the traditions of the Catholic colleges participating, their founding religious community, a namesake saint, and much more.

To begin, pass out a printable bracket sheet (one for the men’s tournament and one for the women’s tournament) and ask the students to circle each of the Catholic college. Then have them “rank” the Catholic colleges according to the number they were seeded in the tournament (there will be some ties).

You might also pass out a blank map of the United States and have the students locate the Catholic colleges by location. Finally, have the student’s research and name the sponsoring Catholic religious congregation for each college.

Here are the keys to the exercises listed above.

Catholic Colleges in the Men’s Tournament

South

Villanova

West

Holy Cross

Saint Joseph’s

East

Providence

Notre Dame

Xavier

Midwest

Iona

Seton Hall

Gonzaga

Dayton

Rankings of Catholic Colleges in the Men’s Tournament (seeding in parenthesis)

  1. Seton Hall (8 Bridgeport)

Xavier (2 East)

  1. Notre Dame (6 East)

Seton Hall (6 Midwest)

  1. Dayton 7 (Midwest)
  2. Saint Joseph’s (8 West)
  3. Providence (9 East)
  4. Gonzaga (11 Midwest)
  5. Iona (13 Midwest)
  6. Holy Cross  (16 West)

Locations of Catholic Colleges in the Men’s Tournament

Pennsylvania

Villanova

Saint Joseph’s

Massachusetts

Holy Cross

Rhode Island

Providence

Indiana

Notre Dame

Ohio

Xavier

Dayton

New York

Iona

New Jersey

Seton Hall

Washington

Gonzaga

Sponsoring Religious Congregations of Catholic Colleges in the Men’s Tournament

Order of Saint Augustine (Augustinians)

Villanova

Society of Jesus (Jesuits)

Saint Joseph’s

Holy Cross

Xavier

Gonzaga

Dominicans

Providence

Congregation of Holy Cross

Notre Dame

Marianists

Dayton

Congregation of Christian Brothers

Iona

Diocesan Sponsored

Seton Hall

Catholic Colleges in the Women’s Tournament

Bridgeport

 Seton Hall

Duquesne

Dallas

St. John’s

DePaul

St. Bonaventure

Sioux Falls

None

Lexington

Notre Dame

San Francisco

Iona

Rankings of Catholic Colleges in the Women’s Tournament (seeding in parenthesis)

  1. Notre Dame (1 Lexington)
  2. Seton Hall (8 Bridgeport)
  3. Duquesne (9 Bridgeport)

St. John’s (8 Dallas)

  1. St. Bonaventure (10 Dallas)
  2. San Francisco (13 Lexington)
  3. Iona (15 Lexington)

Locations of Catholic Colleges in the Women’s Tournament

New Jersey

Seton Hall

Pennsylvania

Duquesne

Illinois

DePaul

New York

St. Bonaventure

Iona

Indiana

Notre Dame

California

San Francisco

Sponsoring Religious Congregations of Catholic Colleges in the Women’s Tournament

Diocesan Sponsored

Seton Hall

Congregation of the Holy Spirit

Duquesne

Vincentians

DePaul

Franciscans

St. Bonaventure

Congregation of Holy Cross

Notre Dame

Society of Jesus (Jesuits)

San Francisco

Congregation of Christian Brothers

Iona

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