Before we get to the big announcement, let’s look at back at this year’s tournament.
We started with sixteen boy names and sixteen girl names:
Noa, Persephone, Navy, Marigold, Marlowe, Magnolia, Enola, Maisie, Laken, Phryne, Zuzu, Vera, Faye, Emilia, Cricket, and Andromeda all competed in the opening round this year.
If you’re curious, eight of those: Maisie, Noa, Faye, Marlowe, Zuzu, Persephone, Andromeda, and Vera also competed in the 2020 contest.
For the boys, Phoenix, Huxley, Torin, Arrow, Wilder, Cove, Emrys, Endeavour, Hayes, Deckard, St. John, Koa, Otto, Raphael, Palmer, and Reid all started out in the opening round.
As for which names also appeared in 2020? That would be Cove, Torin, Reid, Arrow, Wilder, Deckard, Koa, and Hayes.
If that sounds like an eclectic list, it is! March Madness baby name contenders are drawn from the most popular posts during the prior calendar year. And that looks nothing like any other Top Ten list you’ve seen!
Voting narrowed each contest down to just two finalists: Maisie versus Magnolia, and Reid versus Raphael.
On the girls’ side, Magnolia defeated Maisie, with a little over 55% of the vote.
On the boys’ side, Raphael ended up with exactly 52% of the total. That means, for the second year in a row, Reid is the runner-up.
It’s another year featuring names that could belong to siblings. Raphael and Magnolia feel elaborate, but still rooted in history; memorable and distinctive, but still mainstream.
They are the eleventh set of names to earn the title, joining:
- 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
- Rowan and Eliza in 2018
- Arlo and Margot in 2019
- Caspian and Tess in 2020
You’ll note that Cora appears twice. It’s not a typo! After back-to-back victories in 2014/2015, it was decided that past champions were retired from future years’ contests. So we’ll never seen Magnolia or Raphael in future years’ tournaments. (Runners-up, though, can continue to compete – until they win!)
As always, this was a blast! I love seeing how the contests shake out – it’s always a delight and a surprise to see which names win it all.