Barack Obama’s love of basketball is well known so it comes as no surprise that the former US President has joined many others in filling out his March Madness brackets for this year’s men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments.
Obama’s final four men’s teams are Houston, UCLA, Baylor and Duke, with No. 5 seeds Duke beating top seeds Houston in the national championship game.
On the women’s side, Obama predicts that the undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks will defend their title by defeating fellow No. 1 seeds Indiana Hoosiers.
It’s safe to say that Obama isn’t overly confident of filling out a perfect bracket – and no wonder given the odds of getting every result correct are an extraordinary one to nine quintillion.
“It’s the best time of year! My #MarchMadness brackets will get busted soon enough, but here are my picks,” Obama posted on Twitter Wednesday, alongside pictures of his choices.
CNN recently spoke to Tim Chartier, a distinguished visiting professor at the US National Museum of Mathematics, who explained the very slim chances of filling out a perfect bracket.
“I’m going to pick one second in 292 billion years, and your job is to tell me which second I pick,” Chartier explains.
“You’ve better odds that a family of four will all get hit by lightning in their lifetime than picking a perfect bracket.
“There is a stat out there that there’s a one in 10,000 chance that you get injured by a toilet. So there are better odds that that same family of four all get injured by the toilet than picking a perfect bracket.”
In the men’s tournament, the Duke Blue Devils start their campaign with a matchup against the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles.
Obama’s pick in the women’s tournament, the South Carolina Gamecocks, will take on the Norfolk State Spartans as they look to defend their crown.
Obama, who was the 44th US president, often played basketball in his youth and highlighted his love for the sport during his tenure in the White House.
“Even though I never had the talent to play at the highest level, basketball still shaped my life. It taught me how to work hard, how to compete, how to be part of a team,” he told the NBA’s website in 2021.
CNN’s Ben Morse contributed reporting.