Former President Barack Obama revealed his bracket picks for the 2019 men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments on Thursday, Sports Illustrated reported.
Obama took to his Twitter account to share his 2019 March Madness bracket with his followers, shortly before the first game of the men’s tournament kicked off on March 21. While the former president did pick a handful of upsets throughout the competition, he ultimately favored the big schools for the Final Four.
The former president picked Tennessee, North Carolina, Duke, and Michigan in the men’s tournament, ultimately thinking that the Duke Blue Devils will take home the trophy in a championship game against their rivals, the North Carolina Tar Heels.
In the women’s tournament, Obama sees UConn, Notre Dame, Mississippi State, and Baylor making it to the second-to-last games, with UConn coming out victorious in the final game against Baylor.
The former president’s choices earned him a mixture of reactions, with some agreeing with his picks and others predicting a different outcome for the tournament. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine — who was Hilary Clinton’s running mate in the 2016 presidential election — questioned why the University of Virginia wasn’t one of Obama’s Final Four choices.
“Virginia swings blue in 08 and 12 and we can’t even get a final four nod?” he jokingly responded to the 44th president’s tweet.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 21, 2019
According to Sports Illustrated, the former president filled out college basketball brackets every year that he was in office. Though Obama claimed that they have “never been [his] shining moment,” he has had his fair share of correct picks.
In 2017, Obama predicted a Duke-UNC championship, with the Tar Heels coming out on top. While Duke’s run in the tournament ended after being defeated in the second round — by the South Carolina Gamecocks — North Carolina did earn the title of National Champions after beating Gonzaga 71 to 65.
In 2018, his picks weren’t so hot. Obama incorrectly picked Michigan State to take home the trophy, but the team was ousted by Syracuse in the second round. Instead, Villanova and Michigan battled it out on the court, with Villanova winning 79 to 62 — earning their second title in three years.
If the fan-favorite rivalry between the Tar Heels and the Blue Devils does return for a fourth round this season, there is a possibility that Obama could attend the game. The former president was in attendance at the teams’ first regular season match this year on February 20, when freshman phenom Zion Williamson busted through his shoe. This caused Williamson to suffer from a right knee sprain that sidelined him for the rest of the regular season.
Check out President Barack Obama’s complete men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournament brackets at Obama.org.