Houston third graders fired up about the Final Four reading tournament. Photo: Twice Media.
Houston third graders fired up about the Final Four reading tournament. Photo: Twice Media.

The NCAA® Men’s Final Four and Houston Local Organizing Committee (HLOC) recently announced the top 68 schools from this year’s Read to the Final Four program. More than 19,000 students from 186 different schools across 11 districts in the Greater Houston area participated in the initiative, launched in September, which promotes and inspires reading for third graders through a fun and engaging bracket-style competition.

These 68 schools led the way with more than 23 million total combined minutes read. Now, they will compete head-to-head in a March Madness bracket-style tournament for the title of 2023 Read to the Final Four champion.

This year, more than 19,000 Houston-area students set a new Read to the Final Four record, reading for more than 26 million minutes combined. The final 68 teams were selected based on a formula that calculated the average minutes read per school during a designated reading season. 

“We are so proud to see the incredibly high level of participation in the 2023 Read to the Final Four program,” HLOC Senior Director of Community Relations Dorita Hatchett said. “My initial thanks goes to all of the teachers and school leadership for embracing this effort. Seeing these students take on this reading challenge and set a new record for the number of minutes read is something truly special, and we are excited to see these 68 schools across the Houston area continue competing for the championship spot.”

The 2023 Read to the Final Four champion will be announced March 31 at the Men’s Final Four Fan Fest® Presented by Capital One.

Houston will host the 2023 Men’s Final Four® from March 31 through April 3, 2023. Houston Christian University, Rice University, Texas Southern University and University of Houston will make history as the first quartet of institutions to host the Final Four. Games will be played on April 1 and 3 at NRG Stadium. The city of Houston is hosting the event for the fourth time, having previously crowned national champions in 1971, 2011 and 2016. For more information, visit www.ncaa.com/mensfinalfour