Barack Obama again predicts Maryland will reach Sweet 16

Barack Obama again predicts Maryland will reach Sweet 16
President Barack Obama speaks at a St. Patrick's Day luncheon with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 15, 2016. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)

Barack Obama must be a Maryland fan.

For the second straight year, and the third time during his presidency, the college basketball junkie who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is picking the Terps to advance to the Sweet 16.


This year, Maryland might even back up Obama's selection.

Given that Obama picked Maryland to beat the state of his birth, the Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors, in the second round Sunday in Spokane, Wash., speaks, to how seriously he takes his bracket.

Showing that he, like many fans, choose with their heart as much as their head in the opening round, Obama has No. 13 seed Hawaii upsetting No. 4 seed California on Friday. Obama also has roots in Kansas, and picked the Jayhawks to win it all.

That means Obama has Maryland going only as far as the Sweet 16 in Louisville, Ky., since the Terps will play the Jayhawks if both survive the opening weekend.

In Maryland's first three NCAA appearances during Obama's presidency, he is 2-1.

In 2009, Obama had the Terps beating California in the opening round before losing to Memphis in the second round. In 2010, he had Maryland beating Houston before losing to Michigan State in Spokane.

A year ago, Obama ran into problems by picking Buffalo to beat West Virginia in Columbus, and for Maryland to beat Buffalo after an opening game victory over Valparaiso.

Coach Mark Turgeon could only wish the president was right on both counts. The Mountaineers turned beat then-coach Bobby Hurley's team in the first game and ended Maryland's season, 69-59, in the second game.

Obama was not as high on Turgeon in 2009 when he was at Texas A&M. Obama incorrectly picked the Aggies to lose to BYU in the opening round.

A year later, Obama got it right, but it came in predicting the Aggies would advance to the Sweet 16 before losing to Duke there. Texas A&M wound up losing to Purdue in the second round.

Why is Obama giving the Terps so much bracket love?

It might be because of how Maryland fans treated Obama and his family when they sat courtside at Xfinity Center to watch Obama's brother-in-law, then-Oregon State coach Craig Robinson, lead his team past the Terps.