U.S. Markets close in 5 hrs 13 mins

March Madness: These tourney-bound schools offer the best bang for your buck

Kevin Chupka
Executive Producer/Writer

The NCAA basketball tournament began in earnest yesterday (for purists, it begins tomorrow at noon). While 67 teams battle for the right to face Kentucky in the Championship game on April 5. Payscale.com and Marketwatch have put together a final four they think matters even more: The schools with the best return on investment for graduates.

Chip Patterson picks one team from every seed line that has the best chance to advance in the tournament.

Payscale.com ranked the nations colleges and universities based on the median salary of all their students over 20 years and compared it to the total cost to attend the school for four years. The number one school was Harvey Mudd College which costs $237,700 to attend and has a 20 year net ROI of $985,300.

Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

But Harvey Mudd, for all it’s advantages, does not factor into this years roster of March Madness-bound schools. So Marketwatch combed through the data, plucking out the schools that did make “the big dance” in 2015 and came up with a bracket that you’ll almost certainly never see in your office pool.

Related: Yahoo Sports' Tourney Pick'em

The final four is composed of 16-seed Manhattan College (who lost their “first round” play-in game last night), 13-seed Harvard, top-seeded Duke and 16-seed Lafayette.

The champion of college ROI is Lafayette who beat out Manhattan in the final. According to Payscale’s data the four year cost at Lafayette College is $226,900 and the 20 year net ROI is $656,100.