March Madness 2021: Former President Barack Obama believes in Maryland basketball

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Ryan Wormeli
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March Madness 2021: Former President Obama believes in Terps originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

It seems like everyone these days releases their NCAA Tournament brackets ahead of the big dance. That includes former President Barack Obama, who usually had a special bracket unveiling during his years in the White House.

With the NCAA Tournament back on in 2021 after taking a year off as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Obama has once again shared his picks for the postseason.

And in both the men's and women's bracket, he appears to be a believer in Maryland hoops.

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In the men's tournament, Obama has the 10th-seeded Terps upsetting No. 7 UConn in the opening round. Maryland is the underdog heading into that game, both in seeding and game spread, so it would definitely be a surprise to see the Terps come out on top.

The former president does have Maryland losing to Alabama in the second round, which makes sense considering the Crimson Tide are the top-ranked No. 2 seed in the entire tournament. Upon closer examination, it appears he began to write "Te" on the bracket line before crossing it out for Alabama.

It's also possible he meant to write "Texas," which is Alabama's opponent in the Sweet 16. But could he have secretly considered writing "Terps" in an even bigger upset to make it to the second weekend of the tournament? We'll probably never know. 

Meanwhile, in the women's bracket Obama is an even bigger fan of the Terps. He actually has Brenda Frese's No. 2-seeded squad headed all the way to the Final Four, upsetting No. 1 seed South Carolina in what would be an excellent Elite Eight game.

The Maryland women's team is an elite offensive unit, one of the best scoring teams in the last few years in the sport. The Terps are hoping to ride that offense all the way to a national title and it's fun to see the former president believing so strongly in the school he spent eight years just a few miles down the road from.

Obama famously attended a women's game at Xfinity Center in 2015 with his daughter, Malia, and his brother-in-law, Craig Robinson.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama is a Princeton graduate and their niece, Leslie Robinson, was a reserve forward for the Tigers, who were playing a first-round NCAA Tournament game in College Park.

Princeton was an incredible 31-0 at the time and Obama famously picked the Tigers to upset the No. 1-seeded Terrapins in the second round that year. Maryland won 85-70. Obama picked the Tigers AGAIN in 2018 when Leslie Robinson was a senior. The Terps were the No. 5 seed that season and played No. 12 Princeton in the first round in Raleigh, N.C. Maryland won that one, too, 77-57. 

Obama even saw the Maryland men play at XFinity Center in 2013 when he and the First Lady watched Craig Robinson coach Oregon State to a victory against the Terrapins. Maybe Obama just feels bad about rooting against Maryland basketball so often.  

Nobody really knows what's going to happen in March, but fans across the country fill out their brackets anyway. And fans in College Park will be thrilled if Obama's projections come to fruition.