Barack Obama picks North Carolina as NCAA tournament champions in March Madness bracket


Since he assumed his White House position in 2009, former president Barack Obama had filled out an NCAA tournament bracket each year of his administration.

In post-election life, Obama has continued his annual college hoops tradition.

Obama's bracket was posted Wednesday on the Obama Foundation's website, and shows the former president went full chalk in primarily selecting favorites for both the women's and men's tournaments.

"We heard from many of you that your experiences playing sports have helped you develop confidence, an appreciation for hard work, and a positive outlook despite the ups and downs of life," a message associated with the bracket post states. "In the spirit of good sportsmanship and good citizenship, here are President Obama's picks for this year's big dance."

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For the women's tournament, Obama selected UConn, Washington, Notre Dame and South Carolina for his Final Four, with a championship game between UConn and Notre Dame resulting in a 12th national title for UConn.

For the men's tournament, the former president has Duke defeating Arizona and Kansas defeating North Carolina in the Final Four -- resulting in a national championship win for Roy Williams and his UNC squad.

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In the last year of his presidency, Obama did not do so hot with his March Madness picks in 2016. Although 40 of his overall 63 picks were correct, he predicted Final Four appearances for Kansas, Texas A&M, Michigan State and UNC. In reality, only UNC would be among those he selected to actually make it to the Final Four round.

As Victor Mather of the New York Times writes on Obama's prediction record, "In the eight years that he filled out a bracket as president, Mr. Obama picked the lower seed in the first round 52 times. Though these teams were nearly always underdogs, sometimes significantly so, his picks were a sterling 28-24."

According to The Washington Post, ESPN had reached out to Trump administration staff extending an invitation for the president to fill out a bracket while on camera -- as was custom with President Obama. President Trump, though, declined this invitation.

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