By David Ariosto, CNN

(CNN) – As schools gear up for March Madness, a new study released Wednesday shows that race and gender gaps in higher education continue to plague college basketball players on the NCAA tournament teams.

The study found that the female players in the tournament continue to out-graduate their male counterparts, and that graduation disparities between blacks and whites persist but are considerably less pronounced among women.

“The women’s teams always give us good news to report each year,” said Richard Lapchick, the lead author of the report, which was produced by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida.

The study found that women student basketball players on the tournament teams graduate at a rate of 89%, compared with 67% for men.

In addition, a disparity of 8 percentage points exists between white and African-American women. That disparity jumps to 28 percentage points among male athletes, the report found.

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