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NCAA Tournament Detrimental to Academic Research, Study Finds

And someone's tuition dollars likely funded the study to figure this out! Drexel Law School professor Dan Filler reports on a Duke University study showing a precipitous decline in academic research in the weeks following the announcement of the "March Madness" college basketball tournament field.

And -- I hope you're sitting down for this -- the further a school's team advances in the tournament, the longer it is before that school's faculty gets back to work. The professor who conducted this groundbreaking study, Charles Clotfelter, of Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy, referred to this phenomenon as a "winner's curse."

I can't tell from the press release whether he's being sarcastic or not. On one hand, he teaches at Duke, perennial basketball powerhouse, seeded number one in this year's South regional, where he also attended undergrad. On the other hand, he's a public policy professor with two degrees from Harvard. And his name is Clotfelter.

When you're filling out your brackets for the office pool this week, take a minute to consider whether, by doing so, you're indirectly contributing to the (temporary) decline of the value of higher education. The students at the University of Montana School of Law may never recover, especially if the Grizzlies somehow manage to beat the Lobos of the University of New Mexico in the first round.

Posted by Eric Lipman on March 15, 2010 at 03:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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