President Obama made it a tradition to make his pick for the NCAA Tournament while he was in the White House, joining millions of Americans who focus on their brackets, trying to figure out which out of 64 of the best college basketball teams in the will cut down the net as champions.
Although he’s out of office, that hasn’t stopped the former POTUS, himself a high school basketball star, from entering his picks for the tourney, but this time through the nonprofit Obama Foundation, which will oversee the building of the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side.
Last year, Obama chose Kansas to beat North Carolina in the final. Although UNC did go to the final, they were beaten by Villanova with a three-point shot at the buzzer, 77-74. They later presented him with a team jersey on a visit to the White House.
This year, Obama has North Carolina beating Duke in the championship. He has Arizona and Kansas as his other two Final Four picks. In the women’s bracket he has UConn taking the title over Notre Dame, with South Carolina and Washington rounding out that Final Four.
— The Obama Foundation (@ObamaFoundation) March 15, 2017
But CBS Sports Chip Patterson warns of the emotional weight in the state of North Carolina if Obama’s prediction comes true.
“I don’t think Duke or North Carolina fans want to meet in the title game,” Patterson wrote. “They can’t take it, the emotional implications of losing that game are not worth yet another title banner. Having Duke and UNC in the final is to predict chaos across the state of North Carolina.”
However, President Trump did not fill out an NCAA Tourney bracket, which would have continued the tradition in the White House. ESPN invited Trump to participate in its “Bracketology” game, but the Oval Office sent them a note declining, the Washington Post reported.