Former President Obama continued his tradition of releasing his men’s and women’s NCAA Tournament picks on Thursday choosing Gonzaga to take home the men’s title and Baylor winning a second straight title.
Obama picked the Bulldogs, who are the overall No. 1 seed, to beat Michigan to make it to the national championship on one side of his bracket. He has Illinois beating Baylor to face Gonzaga.
There are a few upsets on the president’s sheet as well.
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In the West Region, he has No. 12 UC Santa Barbara and No. 13 Ohio moving onto the second round with the Bobcats facing off against Gonzaga in the Sweet 16. He also has USC making it to the Elite 8.
Obama picked Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown Hoyas to upset No. 5 Colorado in the first round and favored Tom Izzo’s Michigan State squad to win in its First Four game and beat BYU in the first round. In the regional final, he has the Wolverines beating Texas.
Obama second-guessed himself in the South Region. He originally picked Wisconsin to beat North Carolina but scribbled the Badgers’ name out – talk about bulletin board material. He did the same thing for his second-round matchup picking Purdue over Villanova when he originally had it the other way. He has Baylor vs. Ohio State in his South Regional final and Texas Tech making it to the Sweet 16.
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In the Midwest quadrant, Obama is believing in the American Athletic Conference winners Houston and has it going to the Elite 8 before losing to Illinois.
He doesn’t believe the Loyola-Chicago squad will have the same magic as it did in 2018. He has the Ramblers losing to Illinois. New Jersey fans will be happy with his Rutgers pick in the first round but he has the upstart Scarlet Knights losing to Houston.
Obama’s Baylor pick in the women’s tournament means the Lady Bears will need to beat UConn to get to the Final Four. Baylor and Maryland are the only non-No. 1 seeds in his Final Four.
Obama has the Terrapins defeating Dawn Staley’s South Carolina team in the Hemisfair Regional final. But the Terps lose to Stanford in the Final Four, according to 45. Baylor takes on N.C. State in the other Final Four game but the Wolfpack come up short.
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The former president has South Dakota, North Carolina, Michigan State and Marquette pulling off significant upsets in the first round of his bracket.
Obama has released his bracket picks each year since he first got into office.