Segments to Debut on SportsCenter: Men’s on Wednesday, March 20, and Women’s on Friday, March 22; Both Brackets Available on ESPN.com; Special ESPNU Tournament Countdown: Barack-etology Wednesday, March 20
President Obama’s Final Four Selections:
Men’s: Florida, Indiana, Louisville and Ohio State
Women’s: Baylor, California, Connecticut and Notre Dame
President Barack Obama filled out his bracket predictions for the 2013 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments today exclusively with ESPN’s Andy Katz. “Barack-etology” excerpts from the interview will begin running on tonight’s 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET SportsCenter as well as Wednesday’s Good Morning America. His complete men’s and women’s brackets will debut on the 9 a.m. SportsCenter on Wednesday, March 20, and Friday, March 22, respectively. Both interviews will also be available on ESPN.com and ESPN Mobile platforms, and on subsequent editions of SportsCenter and various ESPN platforms, following the debuts.
The President is predicting a Men’s Final Four of Florida, Indiana, Louisville and Ohio State, and a Women’s Final Four of Baylor, California, Connecticut and Notre Dame. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN FULL COURT will present all 63 games from the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship for the 11th consecutive year from March 23-April 9.
This marks the fifth straight year President Obama has completed a men’s bracket exclusively with ESPN and the fourth he has publicly provided his bracket for the women’s tournament. Katz – an ESPN.com senior writer, on-air reporter, and host of ESPNU’s Katz Korner and The Experts – conceived the idea of the President filling out a bracket on-air following an interview with him in 2008. He has conducted the interview with the President on his tournament predictions all five years.
President Obama’s men’s and women’s brackets will be posted on ESPN.com shortly after each is unveiled on SportsCenter and will appear alongside those from the millions of fans expected to play in ESPN.com’s ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge presented by Allstate, Acura and Taco Bell and ESPN Women’s Tournament Challenge presented by Capital One games.
For the first time, ESPNU will televise Tournament Countdown: Barack-etology on Wednesday, March 20, at 5:30 p.m. The special program will include additional footage, behind-the-scenes access and additional bracket analysis.
In 2012, President Obama’s men’s bracket ranked 2,347,421 out of 6.45 million entries, placing him in the 63.6th percentile. He correctly had Kentucky in the championship game, but picked North Carolina to win it all. President Obama placed in the 79th percential of his women’s bracket entry last year.
Tournament Challenge History
Last year, the Men’s Tournament Challenge game was again the most popular bracket game in the nation, with nearly 6.45 million brackets, up 8.9 percent compared to the previous year and setting a new record. At the peak period, fans registered 6,340 brackets per minute (105 brackets per second), among those of which was a bracket from President Barack Obama.
Both the Men’s Tournament Challenge and Women’s Tournament Challenge games return for their 16th seasons and are free for fans to submit up to ten entries on ESPN.com. Participants complete and submit a bracket of forecasted tournament game outcomes and points are awarded for each correct pick, with point values increasing as the tournaments progress. Entries for the Men’s Tournament Challenge game will be accepted until just prior to the tip-off of the Tournament’s first game on Thursday, March 21. The Women’s Tournament Challenge will accept registration until just prior to tip-off of the first game on Saturday, March 23.
2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament on ESPN Platforms
ESPN.com will have complete round-by-round coverage of the tournament from its line-up of experts and analysts including Eamonn Brennan, Andy Katz, Jason King, Joe Lunardi, Myron Medcalf, Ted Miller, Dana O’Neil, Robbi Pickeral, Rick Reilly, Mike Rothstein and Carter Strickland. From Selection Sunday through the Final Four, ESPN.com will deliver features, analysis, commentary and more on the teams, players and coaches in the tournament. Additionally, ESPN.com’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) will be available for fans to reference the latest power rankings by team to assist in their bracket picks.
ESPN Insider will also include a number of additional exclusive features before, during and after the tournament to help break down who gets off the bubble, who is most likely to be this year’s Cinderella and who will be the breakout stars of the tournament. They include:
- Giant Killers: Statistical analysis showing which Cinderella teams will stay in the dance and which favorites will fall early;
- Joe Lunardi’s Tournament Team Previews: Team-by-team analysis of every team in the field by a team led by ESPN’s Bracketologist;
- Bilas Index: ESPN’s Jay Bilas provides his take on how the nation’s top 68 teams will fare;
- Dance Lessons: Hoops stat guru John Gasaway and Insider’s team of analysts explain how the past and the present provide warning signs for this season’s teams;
- College Basketball Experts Blog: Tips and insight from Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Fran Fraschilla before, during and after the big dance;
- PickCenter: A detailed breakdown of every game throughout the tournament, where users can navigate region-by-region and see who the public is taking in every matchup.
Additional predictor and analyzer tools available exclusively for ESPN Insider members include:
- Bracket Predictor – Tournament Edition: A “wizard” style interface leading through the process of making picks for a bracket, giving users predictions and other relevant information for every bracket matchup. Once the user completes all bracket picks in Bracket Predictor, the user will be presented with the option to transmit the completed bracket to ESPN Tournament Challenge;
- Game Predictor: Provides users with predictions and statistical information for actual or hypothetical basketball matchups within the ESPN Tournament Challenge page, giving users tips and guidance for every matchup without leaving the screen, and – for the first time ever – it will also be available to Insiders on mobile web;
- Bracket Analyzer: Analyzes a complete bracket and predicts areas of possible improvement to better the chances for victory. The computer generated report includes round-by-round survival odds for all of a user’s game winner picks, the expected number of user picks to be correct, a high level analysis of the risk level of the user’s picks and recommendations for changing certain picks;
- Joe Lunardi Bracket Predictions: A tool that presents a variety of predictions and odds generated by Team Rankings and based on Lunardi’s projected 2012 tournament bracket, as published in the “Bracketology” section of ESPN.com.
Fans won’t be far from checking their brackets while on the go with the 2013 updated ESPN Bracket Bound app available now in the App Store and Google Play. The free-to-down-load app features full access to Tournament Challenge brackets and new personalized “My Teams” and “My Games” sections displaying scores and schedules of favorite teams. The app will once again include video analysis from ESPN’s college basketball experts and analysts, bracketology, exclusive clips, top stories, game previews, recaps, analysis and highlights.
ESPN Mobile will also carry complete coverage from writers and analysts, keeping fans up to date on the latest news and highlights on mobile devices via a special section on the ESPN mobile Web. Additionally, fans can sign up for ESPN Alerts to receive real-time information on the game (scores, starts, etc.), breaking news, upsets and more.
Outside of the U.S., ESPN International has exclusive multimedia and syndication rights to the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments. The telecasts will reach sports fans in 150 countries and territories across 35 television and broadcast networks outside the United States. ESPN International will distribute the games in Latin America (Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America), Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, Japan, and Canada.