- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2009

An upset-free first day in the NCAA tournament suited President Barack Obama’s bracket just fine.

The prognosticator-in-chief had nine of the first 12 games right and an intact Sweet 16 thanks to a low-risk bracket that largely favored chalk over upsets.

No-drama Obama, indeed.

That’s not to say there weren’t any tense moments for the First Bracket. One of his Final Four picks was in danger of elimination in one of the first games Thursday.

Had Memphis lost to Cal State-Northridge, it would have put a major dent in the president’s chances of winning ESPN’s online contest, where his bracket was posted.

After 12 of the first day’s games were complete, Obama had picked nine correctly, including No. 1 seed and national champion choice North Carolina’s win over Radford.

But most important for his chances of success _ none of the teams he misfired on was penciled in any further than the second round.

Obama also got a scare from No. 14 American later in the night. The Eagles _ who are just up the road from the White House _ led three-seed Villanova before falling 80-67.

Michigan, Texas A&M and LSU defied the president’s expectations by winning first-round games. Of those, only Michigan was close to being an upset, as the No. 10 Wolverines knocked off seventh-seeded Clemson 62-59.

The only upset Obama called outside of games between No. 8 and No. 9 seeds was Maryland. The No. 10 Terrapins _ another local choice _ beat seventh-seeded California 84-71.


On the Web: https://games.espn.go.com/tcmen/entry?entryID2813746

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