- The Washington Times - Monday, March 22, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) — Better luck picking next year, Mr. President.

A day after his bracket was busted by Kansas’ stunning loss to Northern Iowa, President Barack Obama went 5-3 in the men’s NCAA tournament Sunday.

He has only nine teams remaining in the round of 16, but five of his final eight are still playing. Obama ranks 341,262nd on ESPN.com’s leaderboard, putting him in the top 92.9 percent of users who made picks on the Web site.

That ranking is likely to drop next weekend as the tournament continues, because of the Jayhawks’ 69-67 loss Saturday. Obama picked Kansas — as did 42.2 percent of ESPN users — to win it all, with the Jayhawks beating Kentucky.

Obama’s women’s bracket also took a hit Sunday when he lost seven of the first 12 games, but rebounded in the four late matchups to finish 9-7. He ranked 106,679th, better than 44 percent among ESPN users.

His round of 16 is still intact, except for No. 6 seed Texas, which lost to 11th-seeded San Diego State 74-63 in the Memphis Regional on Sunday.

Obama played it mostly safe with the women’s bracket on the first day, picking the better seeds in all but one of the 16 games. It also ended up being his only loss as No. 10 seed North Carolina fell to seventh-seeded Gonzaga 82-76. Obama was tied for first with many others until the Tar Heels’ loss.

He went with much the same picking approach for the second-day games — taking 13 of 16 higher seeds — but it didn’t work out nearly as well.

The First Fan’s women’s Final Four includes all No. 1 seeds: Connecticut, Tennessee, Stanford and Nebraska. He has Connecticut, which has won a women’s NCAA-record 73 straight games, beating Stanford for the title.

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