Perhaps no sporting event captures the nation’s attention more than the NCAA tournament.
After all, even President Barack Obama takes the time to fill out a bracket during March Madness.
While Obama’s entire bracket will be revealed at 9 a.m. ET on Wednesday, according to an ESPN press release, his Final Four picks were unveiled Tuesday.
The President chose No. 1 overall seed Florida, No. 1 seed Arizona, No. 4 seed Michigan State and No. 4 seed Louisville to emerge from each region. Obama's inclusion of two No. 4 seeds may raise some eyebrows, but both Louisville and Michigan State have received plenty of love from commentators leading up to the tournament.
It will be interesting to see whom Obama selects to emerge from the Final Four as the national champion. His four picks are among the most talented teams in the country, and each one has momentum on its side after impressive conference-tournament performances (all four made it to their respective league finals, with three winning).
Obama did pick the national champion correctly in 2009, when he tabbed the North Carolina Tar Heels as the eventual winner.
However, the Commander in Chief finished 2,080,996 out of 8.15 million entries in ESPN.com’s Tournament Challenge last year, so there is room for improvement.
Jordan Sargent of Rolling Stone pointed out that Obama has a knack for picking first-round upsets, even if he isn't the most accurate when it comes to filling out the entire bracket:
Again, Barack Obama, like the rest of us, is not good at predicting college basketball outcomes. But, for some reason, he has shown an aptitude at — and only at — picking first-round upsets. Since 2008, Obama has picked 21 double-digit seeds to win in the first round, and he's been right 11 times. This includes when, in 2011, he nailed all four of his major first round upset selections.
While he certainly didn’t have a perfect bracket last year, he did enjoy watching the title game between Louisville and Michigan in what he called “one of the best championship games that any of us have seen in a very, very long time,” via ESPN.com.
Not that there isn’t enough pressure on teams in the NCAA tournament as it is, but the Spartans, Cardinals, Wildcats and Gators will now be tasked with living up to the President’s expectations.
That being said, considering how those squads have elevated their play of late, don't be surprised if Obama is spot-on with his Final Four predictions.