Like Las Vegas oddsmakers and nearly half the people making picks in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge, President Barack Obama likes Kentucky to win the NCAA men’s basketball championship.
Obama, a die-hard basketball fan who has filled out a bracket for ESPN since he became president in 2009, picked Kentucky to beat Villanova in the title game. His complete bracket was revealed Wednesday morning.
Obama has Kentucky beating Arizona and Villanova beating Duke in the national semifinals, which are set for April 4-6 in Indianapolis.
The president’s bracket includes several early-round upsets, and one that extends a little further. Obama has No. 10 Davidson getting to the Sweet 16, beating No. 7 Iowa in the second round and second-seeded Gonzaga in the third round before losing to Iowa State.
His other opening-weekend upsets include 12th-seeded Buffalo beating No. 5 West Virginia in the Midwest, 11th-seeded Texas beating No. 6 Butler in the Midwest and 12th-seeded Wyoming beating No. 5 Northern Iowa in the East. None of those underdogs advances beyond that, however.
Obama already has one loss on his sheet: He had 11th-seeded BYU knocking off sixth-seeded Xavier in the West. BYU lost its opening-round game Tuesday to Ole Miss.
The president’s picks in the regional finals are Kentucky over Notre Dame, Arizona over Wisconsin, Villanova over Virginia and Duke over Iowa State.
Last year, President Obama finished in the 72.9 percentile overall, but missed on national champion Connecticut (he had Michigan State beating Louisville in the title game). His best finish since becoming president was in 2011, when he was in the 87.4 percentile despite picking Kansas to win the national title (Connecticut won it all that year as well).
Obama did pick the correct national champion in 2009: North Carolina.