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Obama's NCAA bracket fares well amid flood of upsets

March 19, 2012|By Michael A. Memoli

President Obama sure can pick 'em – at least as far as NCAA brackets are concerned.

While most Americans and even so-called experts saw their brackets busted in the opening rounds of the college basketball tournament, Obama fared surprisingly well. He ranks in the 98th percentile in ESPN's "Tournament Challenge," with 460 out of a possible 640 points.

That's good for a rank of No. 131,052 out of the millions submitted on the network's website. Obama missed on 13 of the 48 games played so far. The overall leader on ESPN missed just six games.

Obama's Full NCAA Bracket

Obama is tied with ESPN's Jay Bilas, though Bilas still has all four of his Final Four teams alive. The president is far ahead of some of the network's other "celebrity" bracket selectors, including LeBron James (7.9 percentile); Pau Gasol (33rd percentile); Dick Vitale (33rd percentile) and Tony Reali (61st percentile). ESPN college basketball reporter Andy Katz, who came to the White House to film the annual "Barack-etology" selection special, is in just the 14th percentile.

When it comes to second-seeded Missouri's shocking loss to 15th-seeded Norfolk State, Obama can "feel your pain" – he had the Tigers in the Final Four. He also missed on No. 15 Lehigh's upset over No. 2 Duke, though he had the Blue Devils eventually losing to Baylor in the Sweet Sixteen. He did not pick 13th-seeded Ohio to defeat No. 4 Michigan.

Still, seven of Obama's "Elite Eight" picks are alive, and three of his Final Four picks – Kentucky, Ohio State and North Carolina – are still in the fight. 

Among his best upset choices was 12th-seed Virginia Commonwealth defeating No. 5 Wichita State in the second round, and he had 11th-seeded North Carolina State’s win over Georgetown in the round of 32.

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Obama's NCAA bracket fares well amid flood of upsets

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