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From a reporter's point of view, the best thing about the NCAA tournament – open locker room. It allows us to take you a little bit closer to the team. Before the Terps took the court for practice, players relaxed in the locker room and watched as President Obama unveiled his bracket on ESPN.

If you missed the bit, Obama has the Terps beating Cal but losing to Memphis. Maryland players were a bit mixed on his bracket.

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"I like the fact that he picked us to win the first game," said Greivis Vasquez. "We have to prove him wrong by winning the second game."

The Terps are a team that embrace the fact they have critics. But they aren't necessarily counting Obama as a Terp-hater. Players instead seemed to focus on the fact that he picked Maryland to win in the first round, not that he has the Terps losing in the second.

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"It shows respect for us," said Adrian Bowie.

Actually, it shows a lot of respect. Remember that Obama's brother-in-law happens to coach in the Pac-10 – Oregon State's Craig Robinson. The Beavers beat Cal twice this season, so might Obama have some inside info that leads him to believe the Terps have an edge?

Just the fact that the president was on TV, going through the bracket with ESPN's Andy Katz struck players as pretty cool.

"He knows basketball," said Dave Neal. "I love that we have a president that likes basketball and is into it."

Still, Neal said Obama's bracket seemed to be safe and the president avoided picking too many upsets. Neal has been filling out brackets with his family since he was young and said that next year the president can lean on him for some help.

"If he needs to call me for some advice… I'm definitely available for that job," the senior said.

If you're wondering what kind of prognosticator Obama is, remember that he picked the Steelers in the Super Bowl.

-- Rick Maese

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