In today’s New York Times sports section, there appears a story that proves (again) that if you really want to you can buck any number of odds. The story concerns one Sister Rose Ann Fleming, the academic adviser for Xavier University.

The Xavier basketball team enters the NCAA tournament with a 24-8 record. Sister Rose Ann’s record is better. Since taking on the job in 1985, she is a perfect 77-0.

“Since she became the academic adviser for Xavier athletics in 1985, every men’s basketball player who has played as a senior has left with a diploma,” the Times reports.

This year, 19 percent of the teams in the tournament have graduation rates below 40 percent. (In December, the University of New Mexico reported its graduation rate for athletes at 55 percent overall; basketball is 43 percent. The school reports the graduation rate for all students is 43 percent.)

Sister Rose Ann has been known to schedule academic meetings in the middle of practice. She thinks if a kid can focus enough to play basketball well, he can focus enough to study. It’s just another kind of learning.

As I said, if you really want to …