Barack-etology: President Obama Fills out Final Men’s Bracket in ESPN Exclusive Wednesday

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Barack-etology: President Obama Fills out Final Men’s Bracket in ESPN Exclusive Wednesday post on President Obama’s men’s Final Four picks

Video of President Obama’s Pick

Women’s Bracket to be Revealed on Thursday

President Barack Obama discusses his 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament bracket during an ESPN interview with Andy Katz in the Map Room of the White House, March 15, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy) This official White House photograph is being made available only for broadcast/publication by ESPN for promotional use related to the ESPN interview with the President regarding the 2016 NCAA Div I basketball tournaments and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.
President Barack Obama discusses his 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket during an ESPN interview with Andy Katz in the Map Room of the White House, March 15, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

In an ESPN exclusive, President Barack Obama filled out his bracket predictions for the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships today with Andy Katz. SportsCenter unveiled his bracket during the 7 a.m. ET edition, including his Final Four prediction that has Kansas topping North Carolina in the National Championship game on April 4 in Houston. The President is predicting a Men’s Final Four of Kansas, Michigan State, North Carolina and Texas A&M.

“The President was a Cinderella as a candidate eight years ago but he has gone with the favorites in each year of his presidency,” said Katz. “The presidential bracket has been a non-partisan, American endeavor that he has enjoyed filling out with us like every other fan and it has been a great run. Let’s see if he can bookend his presidency with a winner in his first and last year.”

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 17, at 7 a.m. edition of SportsCenter.

Both interviews will also be available on, on subsequent editions of SportsCenter and various ESPN platforms following their debuts.

In addition, ESPNU will televise Tournament Countdown: Barack-etology on Wednesday, March 16, at 5:30 p.m. The fourth consecutive year of the special program will include additional men’s footage, behind-the-scenes access and bracket analysis.

This marks the eighth straight year President Obama has completed a men’s bracket exclusively with ESPN.

Katz – a regular contributor to, 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 eight years.

President Obama’s men’s brackets will appear alongside those from the millions of fans expected to play in’s free ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge presented by Acura, Allstate and Microsoft.

In 2015, President Barack Obama finished in the 39.5 percentile with a rank of 6,996,358 in the men’s tournament.  The president’s bracket was officially busted during the Final Four after Wisconsin knocked off Kentucky, the team he predicted to win it all.

History of President Obama’s Final Four & Championship Predictions
President Obama has selected 16 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), Kansas (2016, 2011, 2010), North Carolina (2016, 2012, 2009) and Ohio State (2013, 2012, 2011) with three each. The six teams with two selections are Arizona (2015, 2014), Duke (2015, 2011), Florida (2014, 2013), Michigan State (2016, 2014), Pittsburgh (2011, 2009) and Villanova (2015, 2010). The remaining five teams include Indiana (2013), Kansas State (2010), Memphis (2009), Missouri (2012) and Texas A&M (2016).

In the previous seven years, the President has picked five different teams to win the men’s championship, taking Kansas (over North Carolina in 2016, over Ohio State in 2011 and Kentucky in 2010), Kentucky (over Villanova in 2015), Michigan State (over Louisville in 2014), Indiana (over Louisville in 2013) and North Carolina (over Kentucky in 2012 and Louisville in 2009). The President’s record in selecting the Men’s National Champion is 1-6 over the last seven years, only picking the Tar Heels correctly in 2009.

Additional details on ESPN Men’s and Women’s Tournament Challenges





Rachel Margolis Siegal

As part of the College Sports PR team at ESPN, it has been an exciting adventure for me since I joined the worldwide leader in July 2010, working on college football, college basketball, college lacrosse and WNBA properties. I began my love of sports as the manager of several high school sports teams and continued that hobby into college. While at Quinnipiac, I worked in the Sports Information Department, which led me to a summer internship at the New Haven Ravens, a AA baseball team, and an eventual job with the Athletic Communications Department at the University of Connecticut. After my five-year stint at Connecticut, I spent six years as Director of Communications at the BIG EAST Conference in Providence, R.I. before joining ESPN.
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