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2021 Top Great Lakes Region Men's Basketball Schools

145 Colleges
$40,133 Avg Tuition & Fees*
62% 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. College Factual has developed its Best Colleges for Men's Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking as one item you can use to help make this decision.

After analyzing 145 schools in the Great Lakes Region , we came up with our list of those that offered the best educational experiences for Men's Basketball athletes in the Great Lakes Region. Our ranking is based on several objective factors, including the school's overall quality and the athletic competitiveness of the school. We steer clear of subjective measures since they don't give a clear picture when determining how one school compares to another. So, even if a school has a great team, it won't place well if it is also considered a low quality college or university.

See what other factors we include in our ranking methodology.

One Size Does Not Fit All

We know that one set of rankings doesn't always help you determine the best school for you, so we've created the ability to narrow your list by location as well as alternative rankings that prioritize different factors such as those of importance to online students or returning adults or those who value diversity and value for your money.

We've created a tool called College Combat that lets you create your own customized comparisons based on the factors that matter the most to you. We encourage you to try it out and pit your favorite colleges and universities head to head! If you don't have time right now, you can bookmark it for later.

Top Colleges in the Great Lakes Region for 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 Men’s Basketball athletes in the Great Lakes Region working on their bachelor’s degree. Northwestern is located in Evanston, Illinois and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 2,770 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Northwestern brought in $12,669,660 while tallying up $10,646,711 in expenses for its Men’s Basketball team. Thus, the team actually made $2,022,949, which isn’t bad at all. With a perfect academic progress rate of 1000, the team is showing that they know how to hit the books, too.

The impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 6 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools. Northwestern not only placed well in this ranking, but it is also #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

The excellent sports programs at University of Michigan - Ann Arbor helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for Men’s Basketball athletes in the Great Lakes Region. U-M is a public institution located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The school has a large population, and it awarded 7,815 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

U-M brought in $21,114,322 while tallying up $9,874,360 in expenses for its Men’s Basketball team. So, the team made money for the school, bringing in $11,239,962 in profit.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 97%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. 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

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend University of Notre Dame. It ranked #3 on our 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball athletes in the Great Lakes Region list. Located in Notre Dame, Indiana, the fairly large private not-for-profit school awarded 2,642 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the 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.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 98%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. In addition to its Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, Notre Dame is ranked #2 for overall quality in the Great Lakes Region .

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#4

Purdue University - Main Campus

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

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Purdue University - Main Campus. It ranked #4 on our 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball athletes in the Great Lakes Region list. Purdue University - Main Campus is a large public school located in West Lafayette, Indiana that handed out 7,568 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The team at Purdue took home $18,017,191 in revenue and paid out $9,604,624 in expenses in recent times. So, the team made money for the school, bringing in $8,412,567 in profit.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 91%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Purdue 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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#5

University of Wisconsin - Madison

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

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend University of Wisconsin - Madison. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball athletes in the Great Lakes Region list. UW - Madison is a public institution located in Madison, Wisconsin. The school has a large population, and it awarded 8,915 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The team at UW - Madison took home $21,701,868 in revenue and paid out $8,548,485 in expenses in recent times. Happily, this means that the team turned a profit of $13,153,383. The team members aren’t slouches in the classroom either, since the team academic progress rate is an excellent 990.

With a freshman retention rate of 95%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. 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

With a ranking of #6, Michigan State University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for 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.

Michigan State brought in $23,808,250 while tallying up $14,395,851 in expenses for its Men’s Basketball team. Thus, the team actually made $9,412,399, which isn’t bad at all. The team members aren’t slouches in the classroom either, since the team academic progress rate is an excellent 995.

With a freshman retention rate of 91%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. On top of its placing in this ranking, Michigan State also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#11 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Champaign, Illinois is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 8,983 students in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Basketball team at UIUC made $21,419,589 in revenue, while incurring $10,480,939 in expenses. That boils down to a yearly profit of $10,938,650 for the sports team. 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. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, UIUC also is in the top 5% of our overall quality ranking.

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Top 25% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

University of Cincinnati - Main Campus ranked #8 on this year’s Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region list. Cincinnati, Ohio is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 6,175 students in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Basketball team at UC brought home $7,644,770 in revenue in a single year. The great academic progress rate of 995 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 86%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year.

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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 Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. IU Bloomington is a large public school situated in Bloomington, Indiana. It awarded 7,952 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The team at IU Bloomington took home $27,008,415 in revenue and paid out $13,230,211 in expenses in recent times. Thus, the team actually made $13,778,204, which isn’t bad at all. The academic progress rate of the team is 959.

With a freshman retention rate of 91%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. On top of its placing in this ranking, IU Bloomington 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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#10

Marquette University

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

Marquette University ranked #10 on this year’s Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region list. Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the fairly large private not-for-profit school awarded 2,204 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Basketball team at Marquette made $21,856,683 in revenue, while incurring $14,979,149 in expenses. So, the team made money for the school, bringing in $6,877,534 in profit. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 968.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 89%. In addition to its great ranking here, Marquette is in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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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 Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. UDayton is a fairly large private not-for-profit school situated in Dayton, Ohio. It awarded 2,167 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Basketball team at UDayton made $16,281,364 in revenue, while incurring $7,434,825 in expenses. That boils down to a yearly profit of $8,846,539 for the sports team. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 969.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 90%. UDayton excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#12

Butler University

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

Butler University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking, coming in at #12. Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, the medium-sized private not-for-profit school handed out 1,065 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The team at Butler took home $8,228,482 in revenue and paid out $5,760,815 in expenses in recent times. That boils down to a yearly profit of $2,467,667 for the sports team. The team members aren’t slouches in the classroom either, since the team academic progress rate is an excellent 980.

With a freshman retention rate of 89%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. On top of its placing in this ranking, Butler 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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#25 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Ohio State University - Main Campus did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking, coming in at #13. 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.

Ohio State brought in $24,953,122 while tallying up $10,996,364 in expenses for its Men’s Basketball team. So, the team made money for the school, bringing in $13,956,758 in profit.

With a freshman retention rate of 94%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. 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 came in at #14 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. This large public school is located in Normal, Illinois, and it awarded 4,822 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the Men’s Basketball team at Illinois State took home $2,440,752 in revenue. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 961.

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#15

Xavier University

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

Xavier University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking, coming in at #15. Cincinnati, Ohio is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,253 students in 2018-2019.

Xavier brought in $13,916,975 while tallying up $7,406,374 in expenses for its Men’s Basketball team. Thus, the team actually made $6,510,601, which isn’t bad at all. The academic progress rate of the team is 967.

Xavier 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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Ohio University - Athens Campus came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. OHIO Athens is located in Athens, Ohio and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 7,349 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The 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 landed the #17 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Valparaiso University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Valparaiso, Indiana that handed out 893 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Valpo brought in $2,461,689 while tallying up $2,415,050 in expenses for its Men’s Basketball team. That boils down to a yearly profit of $46,639 for the sports team. The academic progress rate of the team is 971.

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#18

Denison University

Granville, Ohio
#13 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Denison University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking, coming in at #18. Denison is located in Granville, Ohio and, has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 643 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

On the financial side of things, the Men’s Basketball team at Denison made $240,013 in revenue. The academic progress rate of the team is 950.

With a freshman retention rate of 91%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Denison 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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#19

Loyola University Chicago

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

Loyola University Chicago landed the #19 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Loyola University Chicago is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Chicago, Illinois that handed out 2,792 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Basketball team at Loyola Chicago brought home $4,348,837 in revenue in a single year. The academic progress rate of the team is 959.

As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Loyola Chicago also is in the top 15% of our overall quality ranking.

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#20

University of Evansville

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

University of Evansville came in at #20 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. UE is located in Evansville, Indiana and, has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 504 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The Men’s Basketball team at UE brought home $2,570,477 in revenue in a single year. 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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#21

Bradley University

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

Bradley University ranked #21 on this year’s Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region list. 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.

The Men’s Basketball team at Bradley brought home $3,778,660 in revenue in a single year. The great academic progress rate of 995 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 86%. 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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#22

Hanover College

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

Hanover College came in at #22 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Located in Hanover, Indiana, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 247 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The team at Hanover took home $240,398 in revenue and paid out $234,573 in expenses in recent times. So, the team made money for the school, bringing in $5,825 in profit.

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#23

Hope College

Holland, Michigan
Top 10% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Hope College landed the #23 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Hope College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Holland, Michigan that handed out 838 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the Men’s Basketball team at Hope made $211,106 in revenue.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 88%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Hope also is in the top 10% of our overall quality ranking.

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#24

Saint Norbert College

De Pere, Wisconsin
Top 20% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

With a ranking of #24, Saint Norbert College did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. De Pere, Wisconsin is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 604 students in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Basketball team at SNC brought home $212,168 in revenue in a single year.

On top of its placing in this ranking, SNC 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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#25

University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois
#3 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

With a ranking of #25, University of Chicago did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking. This fairly large private not-for-profit school is located in Chicago, Illinois, and it awarded 2,024 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Basketball team at UChicago brought home $308,141 in revenue in a single year.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 5 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors. UChicago not only placed well in this ranking, but it is also #3 on our overall quality list.

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Honorable Mentions

These schools also performed well in our Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in the Great Lakes Region ranking:

Rank College Location
26 Ball State University Muncie, IN
27 Miami University - Oxford Oxford, OH
28 Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI
29 Ripon College Ripon, WI

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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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