Barack Obama Goes Largely Chalk in NCAA Tournament Brackets


Former President Barack Obama unveiled his men's and women's NCAA tournament brackets on Thursday morning, writing that he's excited March Madness is back. 

“Like many of you, I’m thrilled that #MarchMadness is finally back,” Obama tweeted alongside his picks and a link to his foundation's website. 

In his two brackets, Obama selected six of the eight No. 1 seeds to make the Final Four, including all four No. 1 seeds in the men's NCAA tournament. 

In the men's NCAA tournament, Obama predicts that Gonzaga will claim its first national championship in school history by topping Illinois. On the women's side, Obama picked Baylor to repeat as champions by defeating No. 1 seed Stanford in the final. 

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Starting in 2008, ESPN produced a segment around Obama filling out his NCAA tournament bracket publicly. As Alexander Wolff wrote for Sports Illustrated in 2016, "What they have shown is the innate caution of the chief executive known in some quarters as No Drama Obama. He admits a weakness for going with the chalk."

He told former ESPN reporter Andy Katz, "The truth is, I’m just not knowledgeable enough about all the teams."

But while Obama picked almost all the No. 1 seeds to make it to the Final Four this year, one team he didn't pick was No. 1 South Carolina. Dawn Staley, the head coach of the Gamecocks, wasn't too thrilled.