In an ESPN exclusive, President Barack Obama filled out his bracket predictions for the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships today with Andy Katz. SportsCenter unveiled his bracket during the 9 a.m. ET edition, including his Final Four prediction that has undefeated Kentucky topping Villanova in the National Championship game. The President is predicting a Men’s Final Four of Arizona, Duke, Kentucky and Villanova.
“President Obama hasn’t had a chance to go with such a consensus pick since North Carolina in 2009,” said Katz. “Picking Kentucky makes sense. Once again, the President was well versed in the trends of the season and the injury updates. But one thing I saw Tuesday was everyone is now putting their brackets out, especially potential 2016 candidates. This is truly now a non-partisan issue.”
ESPN women’s basketball analyst Rebecca Lobo also visited the White House for the completion of the women’s bracket, which will be exclusively unveiled on the Thursday, March 19, 9 a.m. edition of SportsCenter.
Both interviews will also be available on ESPN.com and ESPN Mobile platforms, and on subsequent editions of SportsCenter and various ESPN platforms, following the debuts.
At the culmination of the Final Four, the bracket boards will be sent to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History for an exhibit that will open in 2017.
This marks the seventh straight year President Obama has completed a men’s bracket exclusively with ESPN.
Katz – a regular contributor to ESPN.com, his role on-air has continued to grow, which now includes hosting Emmy and Murrow-award winning Outside the Lines series when Bob Ley is unavailable and ESPNU’s Katz Korner – conceived the idea of the President filling out a bracket on air following an interview with him in 2008. He has conducted the interview with the President on his tournament predictions all seven years.
President Obama’s men’s brackets will appear alongside those from the millions of fans expected to play in ESPN.com’s free ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge presented by Acura and Allstate.
In addition, ESPNU will televise Tournament Countdown: Barack-etology on Wednesday, March 16, at 6 p.m. The third consecutive year of the special program will include additional footage, behind-the-scenes access and bracket analysis.
In 2014, President Barack Obama finished in the 72.9th percentile with a rank of 2,987,736 in the men’s tournament. The president’s bracket was officially busted during the Elite Eight after Connecticut knocked off Michigan State, the team he predicted to win it all.
History of President Obama’s Final Four & Championship Predictions
President Obama has selected 15 different teams to reach the men’s Final Four. Ten of the teams have been picked to reach the Final Four in more than one year, led by Kentucky (2015, 2012, 2010), Louisville (2014, 2013, 2009) and Ohio State (2013, 2012, 2011) with three each. The seven teams with two selections are Arizona (2015, 2014), Duke (2015, 2011), Florida (2014, 2013), Kansas (2011, 2010), North Carolina (2012, 2009), Pittsburgh (2011, 2009) and Villanova (2015, 2010). The remaining five teams include Indiana (2013), Kansas State (2010), Memphis (2009), Michigan State (2014) and Missouri (2012).
In the previous five years, the President has picked five different teams to win the men’s championship, taking Kentucky (over Villanova in 2015), Michigan State (over Louisville in 2014), Indiana (over Louisville in 2013), Kansas (over Ohio State in 2011 and Kentucky in 2010) and North Carolina (over Kentucky in 2012 and Louisville in 2009). The President’s record in selecting the Men’s National Champion is 1-5 over the last six years, only picking UNC correctly in 2009.