President Barack Obama has the Kansas Jayhawks cutting down the nets with a win over North Carolina in the final NCAA bracket of his presidency. He's known for mostly picking chalk, but there were a couple of surprises this year.
ESPN's Andy Katz asked the president why he tends to pick favorites over risking Cinderellas and Obama responded, saying he's "Just not knowledgeable enough of all the teams these days" to pick some of the riskier prospects in the bracket. He noted that while he doesn't always have the top picks right, that typically one of the top four teams winds up at least contending for the national championship.
Despite this he did have one major upset in the first round: No. 13 Hawaii beating No. 4 California in the opening round. It was purely a "homer pick," as the president said, adding he "didn't want to get carried away" by advancing them more than a single round.
Obama is most intrigued by the East, where he thinks some of the best games of the tournament could play out. To this end he has North Carolina meeting Kentucky in the Sweet 16, which we all agree would be magical.
The biggest head-scratcher in the Elite Eight is the presence of Duke, who Obama had beating Oregon in the Sweet Sixteen and facing Texas A&M. The president said he has a tendency to pay attention to coaches more than teams themselves, and this was an example of that thinking. Ultimately it was A&M getting the win and advancing to the Final Four.
On the other side he had a similar upset, with West Virginia advancing past Xavier and eventually losing to UNC in the Elite Eight. This would be a huge surprise and bust a lot of brackets. The final region was far more predictable with Virginia and Michigan State facing off, resulting in yet another UVA loss to the Spartans.
When it came time to the National Championship the president said "Bill Self owes me!" referring to several times the Jayhawks have been Obama's pick and come up short. He's going with them again in 2016 and thinks they have the steady game that can take down North Carolina in what he calls "a squeaker."
Here's ESPN's full video of Barack Obama's picks.