The strategy is working again this year, as Obama finished the first weekend of the tournament in the 98th percentile in his ESPN release. Had he entered Yahoo!'s Tourney Pick'Em, the president would be at the same percentage.
The real-life chalk helped the president's entry. Other than two upset picks (No. 5 New Mexico and No. 11 N.C. State, the latter of which hit), he picked the rest of his Sweet 16 by the seedings. His Elite Eight does the same, with the exception of No. 3 Baylor.
Like a jobs report or polling numbers, the data can be read another way. Four Ohio teams made the Sweet 16, marking the first time a state has produced one-quarter of that field in tournament history. The president only picked one of those swing-state teams in his bracket (Ohio State). One of his Final Four picks, Missouri, was eliminated in the first round. And a key player on North Carolina, Obama's overall winner, just suffered a broken wrist that could hinder the Tar Heels' chances in a theoretical Elite Eight matchup with Kansas.
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