President Barack Obama, the nation’s first basketball fan, took marker to bracket with ESPN again at the White House and selected Michigan State to defeat defending champion Louisville in the NCAA men’s tournament title game.
The path Obama took to arrive at his national champion, an event that has come to be known as “Barack-etology,” was revealed on SportsCenter at 9:30 a.m. ET Wednesday. It is the sixth consecutive year he’s made them with ESPN’s Andy Katz.
“Tom Izzo is a great tournament coach,” Obama said. “I’ve got Michigan State going all the way. … He know how to motivate folks and he knows how to coach. My pick: Michigan State. Bring it home for me. It’s been a while since I’ve won my pool.”
Besides the fourth-seeded Spartans and Cardinals, President Obama also selected No. 1 overall seed Florida and top seed Arizona to reach the Final Four in Arlington, Texas.
“I know these are not imaginative picks, but I think they’re the right ones,” Obama said of his Final Four picks.
Among other picks of note, Obama likes two 12-seeds to pull off upsets in their NCAA tournament openers — Harvard over Cincinnati, and North Dakota State over Oklahoma. The president also likes North Carolina to upset 3-seed Iowa State to reach the Sweet 16.
Obama has picked three different teams in the “Barack-etology” era to win the men’s title — Indiana (over Louisville in 2013), Kansas (over Ohio State in 2011 and Kentucky in 2010) and North Carolina (over Kentucky in 2012 and Louisville in 2009). His correctly picked national champion was the Tar Heels in ’09.
Last year, Obama’s men’s bracket ranked No. 2,080,996 out of 8.15 million entries in ESPN.com’s free Men’s Tournament Challenge, placing him in the 74.4th percentile.
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