HHS Students Predict This Year’s March Madness Champion


March Madness has 5.6 million viewers each year according to NCAA basketball statistics (Photo: Zac Al-Khateeb)

Mary Kelly Prosky Gilbert, Contributing Writer

For many basketball fans at Hingham High School, March is a highly anticipated month because of March Madness. The brackets are made, the games are watched, and the excitement to see who is going to take home the NCAA Division 1 crown is the talk of the school. The players are not the only ones participating in the action; high school fans are fully involved in predicting this year’s winner.

The NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament is a competition between the top sixty-eight college teams structured in a single-elimination style that spans between March and April. “I never miss a game,” said sophomore Stella Robson. “But my bracket has already shown my predictions were often false. It is anyone’s game now!”

After a few preliminary games, sixty-four teams are placed into four regions. The four groups are then seeded from one through sixteen, with number one considered the strongest and sixteen the weakest. In the first two rounds, the best teams play the lower seeded teams. After the first of many action-packed weekends, sixteen teams remain, which are called the “Sweet 16.” The winners of these games move to the “Elite Eight” and those winners become the “Final Four.” Finally, on Monday, April 8th, all of HHS’s student predictions will be proven right or wrong when the two remaining teams play for the championship title.

Many students have weighed into these predictions and added another layer of mystery to the game. Sophomore Connor Kennedy, a basketball enthusiast, studied the teams’ statistics throughout the tournament and developed a strong hypothesis. Kennedy shared, “The University of North Carolina [UNC]  is the safest bet due to the consistency of their play. Despite Duke winning the ACC crown, North Carolina is the most solid and well-rounded team.” He went even further and predicted the Final Four contenders, saying that Duke University, UNC, and the University of Virginia were front runners.

Sophomore and HHS girls’ varsity basketball athlete Abbey Foley seconds Kennedy’s prediction. She said, “UNC is most likely to take the title, as they are most balanced.”

However, sophomore Declan Flynn predicated an alternate result for March Madness, saying, “Duke will beat Virginia Tech, but will have a hard battle against Michigan State if they make it to the elite eight. Duke is not my favorite team, but Zion Williamson is almost unstoppable.” Flynn favors Duke to take this year’s March Madness crown, an opinion heavily based on star freshman Zion Williamson’s performance. Williamson possesses an incredible combination of size, speed, and jumping ability and will be the first player picked in this year’s NBA draft.

There have been some upsets this March Madness, but most of the higher seeded teams still remain. For the students at HHS, many brackets have been demolished. Millions of brackets were entered on an online CBS NCAA March Madness website, and, after the Sweet 16 finalists were announced, only one person persisted with a perfect bracket. Tune in to this weekend’s games and follow the saga of who will make the Final Four and become the champion of college basketball.