First Fan Obama Unveils NCAA Picks

ESPN to air president’s full bracket selection at noon

By Caitlin Millat
|  Wednesday, Mar 17, 2010  |  Updated 3:57 AM PDT
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Last year, Obama correctly chose North Carolina to win the men's side -- his overall bracket ranked above the 80th percentile in the annual ESPN Tournament Challenge, according to the sports network.

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President Obama is getting in on the office-pool action again.

The first fan filled out a set of Final Four brackets for the NCAA Men's College Basketball tournament Tuesday, making predictions for the second time in his presidency, ESPN.com reported.

Obama is betting favorite Kansas will make the tourney's semifinal round, also picking fellow No. 1 seed Kentucky and No. 2 seeds Villanova and Kansas State to vie for the championship.

At noon, ESPN's Sports Center will reveal the president's full selection and air an interview of him discussing the men's tournament. The network will air Obama's take on the women's tournament on Friday. Both full brackets hit the web on ESPN.com later today.

For the women, Obama chose undefeated Connecticut, as well as Big East powerhouse Notre Dame, Stanford and UConn rival Tennessee to make the Final Four of the tournament.

Last year, Obama correctly chose North Carolina to win the men's side -- his overall bracket ranked above the 80th percentile in the annual ESPN Tournament Challenge, according to the sports network.

The ESPN experts who watched as Obama filled out his bracket said the president and well-known basketball player and fan knew his way around the college game.

"After spending a few minutes with President Obama at the White House it was evident he has clearly paid attention to college basketball this season," ESPN's Andy Katz said.

"While I know he didn't have time to watch ESPNU when I talked to all 65 Tournament coaches Monday, he was aware of injuries, star players and key matchups in evaluating the top teams in the field," Katz said.

Tournament play kicked off Tuesday night with Winthrop falling to UAPB, 61-44.
 

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