March Madness Baby Names 2018: The WinnersMarch Madness baby names 2018 has drawn to a close, and it’s time to announce the winners.

Please join me in congratulating Rowan and Eliza, the newest members of our March Madness baby names’ champions circle.

The final match-ups were plenty exciting:

  • Rowan bested Arlo, 53% to 47%. If you recall, in 2017, Arlo lost to Leo. This time, Arlo came much closer to pulling off a win.
  • But here’s the nail-biter, the down-to-the-wire, every vote counts contest: Eliza and Marigold tied, 50% to 50%. When I looked at the actual votes, Eliza had just four more than Marigold. Can you believe it?

I make it a point to close voting without looking at the results every week. So while I usually have a sense of how things are going on Tuesday or Wednesday, I’m never certain what’s going to happen when I finally click the “close poll” button. This was the most exciting contest we’ve had so far!

Speaking of the past:

Rowan and Eliza join past winners:

  • Nathaniel and Louisa in 2011
  • Arthur and Genevieve in 2012
  • Archer and Isla in 2013
  • Everett and Cora in 2014
  • Finn and Cora in 2015
  • Theodore and Sylvie in 2016
  • Leo and Wren in 2017

You’ll note that Cora defended the title in 2015; after that happened, all past March Madness baby name champions were disqualified from future contests.

As a reader commented, it’s interesting how every year’s winning pair sounds like they could be siblings – or even twins! In fact, there’s something similar about the entire list. Top 100 names don’t make it, but then, neither do the really out-there picks, like Endeavour and Phryne, that always appear in the opening rounds.

Sorry that March Madness is ending? I’m planning an overview of the winners next month, along with a chance to vote on your favorite of all the favorites.

Want even more contests? In July, we’ll host the third annual New Names Showdown. (See last year’s winners here.)

In October, it’s time for the second edition of the Great Halloween Baby Names Contest. (Check out the 2017 results here.)

And, of course, next March, we’ll be back with another round of March Madness Baby Names.

Thanks for each and every vote! Did your favorite win?

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. I have a Theodore (born 2014) and a Sylvie (born 2016). So funny to see them listed together! Both felt like old-fashioned somewhat unpopular choices (at least for our circle). We’re expecting number 3 in June and still undecided on a name. Leaning toward Phoebe Agnes. I wonder if those will be on future lists!

  2. I recently suggested Marigold as a potential middle name, and 3/3 people thought I said “Miracle.” Thought that was interesting!

  3. Drat! I was on Team Arlo and Team Marigold. 🙂

    I had the same thought about the winning pairs sounding like siblings. That’s kinda neat.