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Unlike Obama, Trump ‘Respectfully Declined’ Filling Out NCAA Tourney Bracket on ESPN

Michael Morris
By Michael Morris | February 17, 2017 | 10:42 AM EST

Former President Barack Obama makes his NCAA Tournament picks for 2016 with ESPN's Andy Katz. Obama picked the Kansas Jayhawks to win it all in 2016. (ESPN Screenshot)

Unlike former President Barack Obama, who spent valuable time filling out NCAA Tournament brackets with ESPN every year of his presidency, sitting President Donald Trump has “respectfully declined” to fill out a 2017 NCAA Tournament bracket on ESPN.

“We expressed our interest to the White House in continuing the presidential bracket,” stated ESPN network. “They have respectfully declined.”

According to ESPN, “White House spokesman Hope Hicks, in an email to The Washington Post, said: ‘We look forward to working with ESPN on another opportunity in the near future.’”

The bracket challenge tradition started under former President Obama, “an avid basketball fan,” says ESPN, back in 2009 and continued throughout his presidency.

Archives of the former presidents picks can even be found on ESPN and ObamaWhiteHouse.archives.gov.

Below is a listing of former President Obama’s picks throughout the years:

In 2009 on ESPN, Obama picked Louisville, North Carolina, Memphis and Pittsburgh to reach the Final Four. Obama correctly picked North Carolina to win it all that year.

Former President Obama’s 2010 archive can be seen on the ObamaWhiteHouse.archives.gov page here. Obama picked Kansas to win it all in 2010.

On ESPN, Obama again picked  Kansas to be the NCAA Tournament champion in 2011.

In 2012, “Obama filled out a bracket for the fourth consecutive year,” noted ESPN. He picked North Carolina to win over Kentucky for the championship.

“I’m going with Louisville. I know it’s not a surprise pick,” Obama said on “SportsCenter” back in 2013, according to ESPN. Louisville did go on to win the championship that year.

For 2014, ESPN shows Obama “selected Michigan State to defeat defending champion Louisville in the NCAA men's tournament title game.”

“Obama, a die-hard basketball fan who has filled out a bracket for ESPN since he became president in 2009, picked Kentucky to beat Villanova in the title game,” said ESPN, reporting on the former president’s picks for the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

Obama returned to picking Kansas to win the NCAA title in 2016 “with the hopes of correctly selecting college basketball's national champion in the first and last years of his presidency,” reported ESPN.

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