Former President Obama picks Michigan State, UConn in NCAAs

FILE - In this Feb. 21, 2018, file photo, Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma watches the action in the second half of an NCAA basketball game against Tulane, in New Orleans. Auriemma says he has no interest in coaching the school's men's team.  But the Hall-of-Famer, who has won 11 national championships, also says he could do it and would enjoy doing it. (AP Photo/Scott Threlkeld, File)

CHICAGO (AP) Former President Barack Obama has picked his NCAA Tournament brackets, and he has Michigan State winning the men’s title and – no surprises – UConn winning the women’s championship.

Obama has the Spartans beating Bucknell, Syracuse, Duke, and top-seeded Kansas to reach the Final Four along with defending national champion North Carolina, Villanova, and Virginia. Then he has Michigan State topping Villanova in the national semifinals and Virginia, the tournament’s top seed, for the national championship.

On the women’s side, Obama has the unbeaten Huskies, the overall No. 1 seed, defeating Saint Francis, Quinnipiac, Duke, and South Carolina to reach the Final Four along with Louisville, Notre Dame and Mississippi State. UConn beats longtime rival Notre Dame in the national semifinals and Mississippi State for the title.

The picks were posted Wednesday on the Obama Foundation’s website. Last year he picked the North Carolina men and UConn women to win, and at least the Tar Heels obliged. The Huskies had their 111-game winning streak snapped by Mississippi State in last year’s Final Four.

It’s unclear whether President Donald Trump will fill out a bracket. He declined an invitation last year from ESPN to do so on-air, as Obama did during his presidency.

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