It’s time once again to look at “March Madness”—the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments—through the lens of its Catholic college participants! Take some time to examine this year’s list of Catholic college teams that made the tournament and examine some possible assignments and activities suggested below to connect your students to these colleges and their Catholic mission and roots. Use the comment section below this post to add any other ideas you may have to combine this this current event with a classroom lesson.

First, here is a list of this year’s teams, ranked in order of their seedings:

Men’s Tournament

1. Villanova

2. Gonzaga                                                                                 

3. Notre Dame

4. Georgetown

5. Providence


7. St. John’s


Women’s Tournament

1. Notre Dame

2.  DePaul

     Seton Hall

4. Gonzaga

5. Dayton

6. St. Francis (Brooklyn)


Some Assignments and Activities Connected to the Tournament

  • Read about the recent formation of a new “Catholic conference.” 
  • Search the school websites of this year’s Catholic participants and read about the history, founder, and mission of each. Ask them to note how the school market’s its Catholic identity.
  • Collect a collage of images of the school’s religious sites (statues, chapel sanctuary, etc.).
  • Write a report about the college’s chapel. Include the liturgical schedule.
  • Look up each school’s current schedule. Name the school’s main “Catholic rival” on the schedule. Explain something of the history of the rivalry.
  • Name the founding religious order of each school.

Please suggest and share any other ideas to make this current event something that can enhance your theology classes during this madness of March!