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Obama's NCAA bracket has North Carolina winning it all [Video]

March 14, 2012|By Michael A. Memoli
  • President Obama and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron attend the first round NCAA tournament basketball game, Tuesday, March 13, 2012, at University of Dayton Arena, in Dayton, Ohio.
President Obama and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron attend… (Carolyn Kaster / Associated…)

President Obama is choosing experience over youth in his NCAA bracket, picking North Carolina to win the men's basketball tournament in a championship matchup with Kentucky.

"I'm just a sucker for the Tar Heels, what can I tell you?" Obama told ESPN's Andy Katz during his traditional selection special on ESPN (see video below).

The sports network revealed Obama's full tournament bracket on "SportsCenter" on Wednesday morning, for a segment it has come to call "Barack-etology." Tuesday it announced that Obama had chosen Ohio State and Missouri along with North Carolina and Kentucky to make the Final Four.

Obama's full NCAA bracket

Three of those four are schools in swing states, and in the final game Obama opted for the swing state school over the deeply red state Kentucky. Obama's nominating convention this summer will be held in North Carolina.

Obama, though, offered no hint that politics was playing into his choices. The Wildcats, he said, are a "talented team."

But North Carolina is "an older team, a more experienced team. And since they won it for me last time the last time I picked them, hopefully I'll be able to get a little redemption," Obama said.

Obama is one-for-three in picking tournament winners during his administration. In 2009 he correctly chose North Carolina to win it all. In 2010 and 2011 he picked Kansas, but Duke and the University of Connecticut won those tournaments.

Overall, Obama said when he looks at his bracket, he's "big on momentum," usually opting for the hot teams coming in to the 68-team tournament. He also likes teams with good point guards, he told Katz.

"I think that’s a big difference. Being able to make free throws, that ends up counting a little bit," he said. "Other than that, it's all throwing darts."

As he made his selections, Katz noted a curious one -- he opted against Harvard, where he went to law school.

"I will be rooting for Harvard, but it's just too much of a stretch," he said.

March Madness has always been a big deal at the Obama White House, but especially so this year. On Tuesday Obama took British Prime Minister David Cameron to Dayton, Ohio, for an opening round game.

As he officially welcomed Cameron to the White House for a state visit Wednesday morning, he said he was happy to share with the visiting leader "a uniquely American tradition of bracketology."

Here's the video:

Obama's NCAA bracket has North Carolina winning it all [Video]

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