President Obama picks North Carolina to win NCAA tournament

Chris Chase
March 14, 2012

For the past two years, President Barack Obama has chosen red-state favorite Kansas to win the NCAA tournament. In this election year, he's going Carolina Blue.

The president picked the North Carolina Tar Heels to defeat the Kentucky Wildcats in his tournament bracket. Obama attended a Carolina game earlier this season in which the Heels defeated another Final Four contender, Michigan State, on an aircraft carrier in San Diego.

Obama filled out his bracket at the White House on Tuesday with ESPN's Andy Katz. The segment aired on a Wednesday edition of "SportsCenter."

His Final Four consisted of two No. 1 seeds (Kentucky and Carolina) and two No. 2 seeds (Ohio State and Missouri). No. 3-seed Baylor was the only upset team in Obama's Elite Eight.

The president cautioned that his UNC pick was premised on the health of big man John Henson, who was injured during last week's ACC tournament and is questionable for Friday's opener against the winner of Lamar and Vermont.

Other insights from the commander-in-chief:

• "Duke has one of the best backcourts there is."

• "The perimeter play of Missouri right now is outstanding."

• "I like Baylor."

• "Love [Tom] Izzo."

• "I'll be rooting for Harvard, but it's just too much of a stretch."

[ See Yahoo! Sports experts' Final Four picks ]

Obama hasn't picked a Final Four participant in his bracket since 2009. (He sarcastically thanked Kansas coach Bill Self for helping him out in that respect.) In 2008, the presidential candidate accurately predicted a North Carolina victory. Can you blame him for going back to that well in another election year?

His brackets have historically leaned chalk. In his five years releasing a bracket to the public, Obama has picked 14 No. 1 seeds to make the Final Four and six No. 2 seeds.

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