Barack's tourney brackets: President Obama's men's picks are chalky, but women's feature upset

Cassandra Negley
·4 min read

Former President Barack Obama revealed his 2021 March Madness brackets on Thursday before the men's tournament tips off with the First Four. His picks, which feature a few literal scratches, come down to all four No. 1 seeds reaching the Final Four with overwhelming favorite Gonzaga taking it all.

He is a little more daring with the women's bracket by choosing No. 2 seed Baylor to defeat the region's No. 1 seed Connecticut in the Elite Eight. He has the Bears going winning the national title over No. 1 overall seed Stanford.

March Madness: Obama's men's and women's brackets

Here's Obama's men's bracket:

President Obama's 2021 men's bracket
President Obama's 2021 men's bracket

And his women's bracket:

President Obama's 2021 women's bracket.
President Obama's 2021 women's bracket.

Obama's history of March Madness picks

Obama is continuing his "presidential bracket" tradition he started in the first March of his presidency. He is 2-for-11 on the men's side by picking winner North Carolina in both 2009 and 2017.

Here are is picks over the last decade for the men's side.

2009 — Pick: North Carolina | Winner: North Carolina

2010 — Pick: Kansas | Winner: Duke

2011 — Pick: Kansas | Winner: Connecticut

2012 — Pick: North Carolina | Winner: Kentucky

2013 — Pick: Indiana | Winner: Louisville

2014 — Pick: Michigan State | Winner: Connecticut

2015 — Pick: Kentucky | Winner: Duke

2016 — Pick Kansas | Winner: Villanova

2017 — Pick: North Carolina | Winner: North Carolina

2018 — Pick: Michigan State | Winner: Villanova

2019 — Pick: Duke | Winner: Virginia

2021 — Pick: Gonzaga

Obama is 5-for-10 on the women's side and has only ever picked UConn or Baylor to win it all. It wasn't a bad system until the last few years. He's picked UConn seven times, including the last six tournaments, but they haven't won since 2016 and in UConn years, that's a long time.

Here are his women's picks since he added their bracket to his picks in 2010.

2010 — Pick: UConn | Winner: UConn

2011 — Pick: UConn | Winner: Texas A&M

2012 — Pick: Baylor | Winner: Baylor

2013 — Pick: Baylor | Winner: UConn

2014 — Pick: UConn | Winner: UConn

2015 — Pick: UConn | Winner: UConn

2016 — Pick UConn | Winner: UConn

2017 — Pick: UConn | Winner: South Carolina

2018 — Pick: UConn | Winner: Notre Dame

2019 — Pick: UConn | Winner: Baylor

2021 — Pick: Baylor

Obama's notable men's picks

Obama goes with the 5-12 upset on the left side of the bracket in the West and East regions. The Georgetown-over-Colorado pick is the most popular upset among Yahoo Tourney Pick'Em users.

He also goes with two 7-10 upsets and puts No. 13 Ohio in the Sweet 16 with triumphs over No. 4 Virginia and No. 12 UCSB (which took down No. 5 Creighton in the first round).

His Elite Eight is mostly the top-two seeds except for No. 6 seed USC in the West and No. 3 seed Texas in the East. Both teams fall to the No. 1s to make it an all No. 1 Final Four. His pick of Gonzaga over Illinois in the championship game is the same as many of the Yahoo Sports Experts.

Obama's notable women's picks

Obama picked the No. 10 seed over the No. 7 seed in every single region, though none of those winners beat the No. 2 seed in the next round. He also picked every 5-seed with the exception of Georgia Tech to reach the Sweet 16 round.

His Elite Eight is largely No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, except for No. 3 Arizona upsetting No. 2 Texas A&M in the Mercado. And his Final Four selections are all No. 1 seeds with the exception of No. 2 Baylor, which he has winning it all, and No. 2 Maryland. South Carolina coach Dawn Staley took exception to that on Twitter.

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The Bears are the reigning champions from 2019 and have a good chance at getting through Connecticut based on recent history.

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