During this year’s NCAA tournament, the Phoenix Inquirer staff took a poll on who the FCS community wanted and thought would win March Madness. Duke overwhelmingly won the prediction category, and our hometown Villanova WIldcats dominated the want category.
Who the Friends’ Central Community wanted to win:
Kansas state: 1
Who the Friends Central community thought was going to win:
In the beginning of the March Madness tournament most people believed that Duke would win. Reporters on ESPN, the world of bracket makers, and even most of the Friends’ Central community guessed that Duke would win. The second most voted for team at Friends’ Central was UNC. The third most voted for team at Friends’ Central was Tennessee. These three teams were all speculation as to who people thought was going to win. However, Villanova dominated when we asked the community who they wanted to win. Duke also came second in the want category as well. Also, something that was interesting was that out of the 22 people we asked in the Friends’ Central community, only 1 person thought and wanted Virginia to win. As for the first most voted team to win, Duke was eliminated in the Elite Eight. As the second most voted team to win, UNC was eliminated in the Sweet 16. Finally, as the third most voted team to win, Tennessee was eliminated in the Sweet 16 as well. When March Madness got down to its Final Four, very few people predicted the outcome. Using the March Madness app we discovered that 7,928 people guessed the Final Four correctly out of the 17.2 million who entered their brackets. However, in the Friends’ Central community only one of the Final Four teams was voted to win it all (Virginia–the team that actually ended up winning).
Virginia player De’Andre Hunter began attending Friends’ Central school in ninth grade, immediately playing for varsity. By his junior year he was averaging 21.6 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists. That is when the college offers started to flow in. He got offers from 12 different schools with 2017-2018 NCAA champions, Villanova, being among them. On September 12, 2015 he decided to go with the Virginia Cavaliers. After high school the first year of college did not go as planned; he got redshirted and did not play his first year. For many people that would be a sign to give up, but De’Andre kept working and came back strong and is now projected to be in the top 10 of the NBA draft. He scored 27 points to help his team reach its first ever NCAA March Madness championship.
by Christian Whitfield (’23) and Solomon Murphy (’23)