The 2021 Division I Men's Basketball Tournament is set to kick-off this afternoon and no one is more excited than former President Barack Obama. Continuing the tradition he began in the White House, the bestselling author has shared his picks for this year's tournament.
"Like many of you, I’m thrilled that March Madness is finally back," he tweeted.
The former Senator believes that the Michigan Wolverines, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Illinois Fighting Illini and Baylor Bears will meet in the Final Four. Ultimately, he predicts that the Bulldogs will take down the Fighting Illini in the National Championship. If he is correct, the Bulldogs will finish the season with a perfect record of 32-0. It has been 45 years since a team, the Indiana Hoosiers, finished a season with a perfect record. Interestingly enough, perennial powers like Kentucky and Duke are not participating in the tournament. The last time that those two programs did not make the tournament was in 1976 when the Indiana Hoosiers finished with a perfect record of 32-0,
Beyond the national powers, Obama does predict that there will be a few upsets along the way. Most notably, he believes that the sixth-seeded USC Trojans will advance to the Elite Eight before being knocked out by the aforementioned Gonzaga Bulldogs. He also predicts that Big East standouts Rutgers and Georgetown will pull off upsets in the first round. Not to mention, the former President believes that Norfolk State will pick up a win in a play-in game.
The first set of play-in games are set to take place later today. Texas Southern will take on Mt. Saint Mary's while Drake battles Wichita State. In the later slate of games, Michigan State will play UCLA while Norfolk State faces Appalachian State. First and second-round play will continue throughout the weekend.
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