Fans of ESPN’s “Barack-otology” will be glad to know Barack Obama released his bracket picks on his foundation’s website just days before the start of March Madness. While there is no ESPN segment breaking down the picks, Obama released full brackets for both the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments.
What were Obama’s Final Four picks? Duke, Arizona, Kansas and North Carolina make up Obama’s 2017 picks. The former president has an all Carolina championship matchup with North Carolina defeating rival Duke to win the title.
On the women’s side, Obama picked UConn, Washington, Notre Dame and South Carolina. Obama has UConn defeating Notre Dame for another national championship.
With the release of the brackets, the Obama Foundation wrote about the importance of sport and shared a quote they had received.
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. We think Solomon A., from St. Louis, said it best:
‘When I think about citizenship, I think about sportsmanship. The game, whether on the field of play or in real-life, is more productive and more enjoyable when everyone has the opportunity to play, grow and succeed. A good sport, along with a good citizen, knows the main objective has nothing to do with the day’s score, but the willingness of people to continue playing no matter the outcome of a single contest.’
In keeping with tradition, Obama went chalk picking the favorites with one exception. The former president likes 14 seeded Bucknell to defeat No. 3 West Virginia. He also likes Notre Dame to defeat Gonzaga to advance to the Elite 8.
Last season, Obama picked Kansas, Texas A&M, North Carolina and Michigan State in his final four with Kansas winning the tournament. He correctly picked one (North Carolina) of four teams but did accurately pick UNC to make the title game.
Donald Trump declined to participate in the ESPN segment this year. Obama’s love of basketball has been well documented. In addition to filling out his bracket, Obama also frequently played pick-up games at the White House and attended several NBA games.