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Obama Picks North Carolina To Win Men's Basketball Championship

After two years of going with the wrong team to win it all, President Obama is counting on North Carolina — the team he correctly picked to win the 2009 NCAA men's basketball championship — to end up No. 1 this year.

As he has each year since taking office, the president spent time with ESPN going over his bracket for the tournament.

He's pretty "chalky" as they say. In most cases he goes with the favored team as the tournament proceeds. The biggest upset on his board in the first round has VCU, the No. 12 team in the South, beating No. 5 seed Wichita State.

As play advances, he has Georgetown (No. 3 in the Midwest) losing to North Carolina State (No. 11 in the region).

But where he ends up is pretty conventional:

A final four of North Carolina (No. 1 in the Midwest region), Missouri (No. 2 in the West), Ohio State (No. 2 in the East) and Kentucky (No. 1 in the South).

And in the championship, Obama has North Carolina beating Kentucky. "I am just a sucker for the Tar Heels," he told ESPN. "I think it will come down to the wire. But in the end, I think it goes back down to Chapel Hill."

In 2010 and again last year, the president thought Kansas would win it all. But Duke was No. 1 in 2010 and Connecticut took the championship last year.

By the way, according to ESPN's Tony Kornheiser, the expression "going chalk" stems from the old days when bookies would write odds on a board with — chalk.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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