President Trump will not fill out an NCAA tournament bracket

Henry Bushnell
Donald Trump has declined ESPN’s offer to broadcast his March Madness picks. (Getty)
Donald Trump has declined ESPN’s offer to broadcast his March Madness picks. (Getty)

Every March for eight years, Barack Obama filled out a “presidential bracket” on ESPN. It had the feel of the beginning of a tradition. President Donald Trump, however, has ended the tradition before it could get going.

Trump declined the opportunity to fill out a bracket on ESPN, despite the network offering him the chance to do so. The Washington Post was the first to report the news Wednesday. According to an ESPN spokesman, “We expressed our interest to the White House in continuing the presidential bracket. They have respectfully declined.”

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Obama filled out a men’s NCAA tournament bracket every year of his presidency, and his selections were broadcast on ESPN. He added a women’s NCAA tournament bracket in his second year, and made selections for the women’s tournament over the final seven years of his presidency just as he did for the men’s tournament.

Obama is a noted basketball fan, and enjoys watching and playing the game. He didn’t exactly offer nuanced analysis as he made his picks with ESPN’s Andy Katz, but he knew what he was talking about. He even correctly picked North Carolina to win the national championship in his first year, 2009, though his national title picks were incorrect in his final seven years.

Trump has not given any indication that he is a basketball fan. He attended the Army-Navy football game in December, and made a Super Bowl prediction on Fox News, but has never offered any public thoughts about basketball during his presidency.

“We look forward to working with ESPN on another opportunity in the near future,” White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks told The Post. It’s unclear what that opportunity might be, or if there is such an opportunity lined up.

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