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2021 Top Great Lakes Region Men's D1 Basketball Schools

44 Colleges
$36,786 Avg Tuition & Fees*
55% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

It's not easy to decide which college to attend when there are so many options available for student athletes. At College Factual, we're committed to helping you make that decision by providing information such as that found in our Best Colleges for Division I Men's Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking.

We analyzed 44 colleges and universities across the Great Lakes Region to determine which were the best for D1 Men's Basketball athletes in the Great Lakes Region. Instead of depending on subjective information, we focus on objective factors to determine this ranking. These factors include such things as the athletic competitiveness of the school and the school's overall quality. This means that a school must provide students with a great education in addition to having a good sports team if it wants to rank well.

Learn more about our ranking methodology.

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Top Colleges in the Great Lakes Region for D1 Men's Basketball athletes in the Great Lakes Region

See which schools came out on top of our ranking:

#1

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois
#1 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Our 2021 rankings named Northwestern University the best school for D1 Men’s Basketball athletes in the Great Lakes Region working on their bachelor’s degree. Northwestern is a large private not-for-profit school situated in Evanston, Illinois. It awarded 2,770 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Northwestern brought in $12,669,660 while tallying up $10,646,711 in expenses for its D1 Men’s Basketball team. So, the team made money for the school, bringing in $2,022,949 in profit. With a perfect academic progress rate of 1000, the team is showing that they know how to hit the books, too.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 6 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors. Northwestern did well in our overall quality rankings, too. It placed #1 on our overall quality list.

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#2

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan
#4 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. It ranked #2 on our 2021 Best Colleges for D1 Men’s Basketball athletes in the Great Lakes Region list. Ann Arbor, Michigan is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 7,815 students in 2018-2019.

The team at U-M took home $21,114,322 in revenue and paid out $9,874,360 in expenses in recent times. That boils down to a yearly profit of $11,239,962 for the sports team.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 97%. U-M also made our overall quality list, coming in at #4.

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#3

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Indiana
#2 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

The excellent sports programs at University of Notre Dame helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for D1 Men’s Basketball athletes in the Great Lakes Region. Notre Dame is located in Notre Dame, Indiana and, has a fairly large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 2,642 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Speaking financially, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at Notre Dame took home $4,153,208 in revenue. The team has a great academic progress rate of 989, signifying that team members care about their grades.

With a freshman retention rate of 98%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Notre Dame not only placed well in this ranking, but it is also #2 on our overall quality list.

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#4

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, Indiana
#9 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

A rank of #4 on our list means Purdue University - Main Campus is a great place for D1 Men’s Basketball athletes in the Great Lakes Region working on their bachelor’s degree. Purdue is a large public school situated in West Lafayette, Indiana. It awarded 7,568 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Purdue brought in $18,017,191 while tallying up $9,604,624 in expenses for its D1 Men’s Basketball team. Thus, the team actually made $8,412,567, which isn’t bad at all.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 91%. In addition to its great ranking here, Purdue is in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#5

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, Wisconsin
#8 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Out of the 44 schools in the Great Lakes Region that were part of this year’s ranking, University of Wisconsin - Madison landed the #5 spot on the list. UW - Madison is located in Madison, Wisconsin and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 8,915 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The team at UW - Madison took home $21,701,868 in revenue and paid out $8,548,485 in expenses in recent times. So, the team made money for the school, bringing in $13,153,383 in profit. The great academic progress rate of 990 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 95%. UW - Madison also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

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#6

Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan
#12 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Michigan State University landed the #6 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Michigan State is located in East Lansing, Michigan and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 8,997 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The team at Michigan State took home $23,808,250 in revenue and paid out $14,395,851 in expenses in recent times. That boils down to a yearly profit of $9,412,399 for the sports team. The great academic progress rate of 995 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

With a freshman retention rate of 91%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Michigan State also is in the top 5% of our overall quality ranking.

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#11 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

With a ranking of #7, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. This large public school is located in Champaign, Illinois, and it awarded 8,983 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at UIUC made $21,419,589 in revenue, while incurring $10,480,939 in expenses. Happily, this means that the team turned a profit of $10,938,650. The academic progress rate of the team is 948.

With a freshman retention rate of 92%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. UIUC excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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Top 25% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

University of Cincinnati - Main Campus came in at #8 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. This large public school is located in Cincinnati, Ohio, and it awarded 6,175 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at UC took home $7,644,770 in revenue. The great academic progress rate of 995 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

With a freshman retention rate of 86%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students.

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#9

Indiana University - Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana
#17 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Indiana University - Bloomington landed the #9 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. IU Bloomington is located in Bloomington, Indiana and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 7,952 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at IU Bloomington made $27,008,415 in revenue, while incurring $13,230,211 in expenses. Happily, this means that the team turned a profit of $13,778,204. The academic progress rate of the team is 959.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 91%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, IU Bloomington also is in the top 10% of our overall quality ranking.

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#10

Marquette University

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
#20 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

With a ranking of #10, Marquette University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the fairly large private not-for-profit school handed out 2,204 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The team at Marquette took home $21,856,683 in revenue and paid out $14,979,149 in expenses in recent times. Thus, the team actually made $6,877,534, which isn’t bad at all. The academic progress rate of the team is 968.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 89%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Marquette also is in the top 10% of our overall quality ranking.

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#11

University of Dayton

Dayton, Ohio
#21 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

With a ranking of #11, University of Dayton did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. This fairly large private not-for-profit school is located in Dayton, Ohio, and it awarded 2,167 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at UDayton made $16,281,364 in revenue, while incurring $7,434,825 in expenses. So, the team made money for the school, bringing in $8,846,539 in profit. The academic progress rate of the team is 969.

With a freshman retention rate of 90%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. On top of its placing in this ranking, UDayton also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#12

Butler University

Indianapolis, Indiana
Top 15% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Butler University landed the #12 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Butler University is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in Indianapolis, Indiana that handed out 1,065 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Butler brought in $8,228,482 while tallying up $5,760,815 in expenses for its D1 Men’s Basketball team. So, the team made money for the school, bringing in $2,467,667 in profit. The team has a great academic progress rate of 980, signifying that team members care about their grades.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 89%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Butler also is in the top 15% of our overall quality ranking.

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#25 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

With a ranking of #13, Ohio State University - Main Campus did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Ohio State is located in Columbus, Ohio and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 11,596 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at Ohio State made $24,953,122 in revenue, while incurring $10,996,364 in expenses. Happily, this means that the team turned a profit of $13,956,758.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 94%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Ohio State also is in the top 10% of our overall quality ranking.

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#14

Illinois State University

Normal, Illinois
Top 25% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Illinois State University ranked #14 on this year’s Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region list. Located in Normal, Illinois, the large public school awarded 4,822 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at Illinois State made $2,440,752 in revenue. The academic progress rate of the team is 961.

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#15

Xavier University

Cincinnati, Ohio
Top 20% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Xavier University came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, the medium-sized private not-for-profit school awarded 1,253 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The team at Xavier took home $13,916,975 in revenue and paid out $7,406,374 in expenses in recent times. Thus, the team actually made $6,510,601, which isn’t bad at all. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 967.

On top of its placing in this ranking, Xavier also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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Ohio University - Athens Campus ranked #16 on this year’s Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region list. Located in Athens, Ohio, the large public school handed out 7,349 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at OHIO Athens brought home $3,337,404 in revenue in a single year.

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#17

Valparaiso University

Valparaiso, Indiana
Top 25% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Valparaiso University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking, coming in at #17. Valpo is a private not-for-profit institution located in Valparaiso, Indiana. The school has a small population, and it awarded 893 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at Valpo made $2,461,689 in revenue, while incurring $2,415,050 in expenses. So, the team made money for the school, bringing in $46,639 in profit. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 971.

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#18

Loyola University Chicago

Chicago, Illinois
Top 15% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Loyola University Chicago ranked #18 on this year’s Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region list. Loyola Chicago is a private not-for-profit institution located in Chicago, Illinois. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 2,792 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at Loyola Chicago took home $4,348,837 in revenue. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 959.

In addition to its great ranking here, Loyola Chicago is in the top 15% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#19

University of Evansville

Evansville, Indiana
Top 20% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

University of Evansville ranked #19 on this year’s Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region list. University of Evansville is a small private not-for-profit school located in Evansville, Indiana that handed out 504 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at UE took home $2,570,477 in revenue. The academic progress rate of the team is 966.

As a testament to the quality of education it offers, UE also is in the top 20% of our overall quality ranking.

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#20

Bradley University

Peoria, Illinois
Top 15% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

With a ranking of #20, Bradley University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Bradley is a private not-for-profit institution located in Peoria, Illinois. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 1,048 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at Bradley took home $3,778,660 in revenue. The team has a great academic progress rate of 995, signifying that team members care about their grades.

With a freshman retention rate of 86%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Bradley also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 15% of all schools in this category.

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#21

Ball State University

Muncie, Indiana

Ball State University came in at #21 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. This large public school is located in Muncie, Indiana, and it awarded 3,621 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at Ball State brought home $1,975,432 in revenue in a single year. The great academic progress rate of 990 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

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#22

Miami University - Oxford

Oxford, Ohio
Top 15% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Miami University - Oxford ranked #22 on this year’s Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region list. Miami University - Oxford is a public institution located in Oxford, Ohio. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 5,139 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Men’s Basketball team at Miami University - Oxford took home $2,234,349 in revenue. The team has a great academic progress rate of 981, signifying that team members care about their grades.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 91%. On top of its placing in this ranking, Miami University - Oxford also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 15% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#23

Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Western Michigan University landed the #23 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. WMU is a large public school situated in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It awarded 3,824 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at WMU brought home $2,243,842 in revenue in a single year. The great academic progress rate of 976 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

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#24

Oakland University

Rochester Hills, Michigan

Oakland University landed the #24 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Oakland is a public institution located in Rochester Hills, Michigan. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 3,500 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The team at Oakland took home $2,184,404 in revenue and paid out $1,940,265 in expenses in recent times. So, the team made money for the school, bringing in $244,139 in profit. The academic progress rate of the team is 952.

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#25

DePaul University

Chicago, Illinois
Top 20% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

With a ranking of #25, DePaul University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Located in Chicago, Illinois, the large private not-for-profit school awarded 3,518 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The D1 Men’s Basketball team at DePaul brought home $6,793,520 in revenue in a single year. The academic progress rate of the team is 968.

DePaul excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 20% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Tuition and Fees and Avg 4-Year Grad Rate are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Revenue and expense information comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics Data Analysis (EADA) website.
  • The academic progress rate (APR) of each team was made available by the NCAA.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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