'Barack-Etology': President Obama Picks Kansas to Win NCAA Tournament

Asked if he had ever seen the "menacing stare" of Kansas State head coach Frank Martin, who is known for his on-court temper and tirades, Obama said, "He's a scary dude. ... I should send him up to Congress to get them to vote for health care."

Safe Picks in Women's Tourney

This is the second year Obama has filled out his men's tournament bracket with ESPN, but the first time he filled out a bracket for the women's tournament.

He picked Connecticut, Stanford, Tennessee and Notre Dame to reach the women's Final Four, and ESPN will reveal his pick for the women's champion later this week.

Picking the UConn women's team for his Final Four is a safe bet. The Huskies have dominated college women's basketball this season, boast a 72-game winning streak and are the defending national champions. UConn came to the White House last year to be honored for its title and shot hoops with the president on the basketball court there.

No Games Involved in Presidential Picks

In picking Ohio State to make the Sweet 16 of the men's tourney, Obama made sure to point out it's not 2008 anymore and that politics were not at play in his decision.

"There's no bias," he said. "I'm not trying to win electoral votes in Ohio."

But when he picked the Buckeyes to lose its next game to Georgetown, the president had a quick explanation for why.

"Well, here's the thing. They don't have any seniors on their team. They're a young team," he said about the Hoyas. "But I think they're getting better. I think [Georgetown coach] John Thompson does a great job. So I'm feeling pretty good about Georgetown making a good little run."

Overall, Obama played it safe in his picks -- he has only two upsets in early rounds, picking 12th-seeded Cornell to beat No. 5 seeded Temple, and 13th-seeded Murray State to upset four-seeded Vanderbilt.

"I like Murray State. They're a well balanced team and they're athletic," the president said.

Win One for the Secretary

While the president's bracket may not be daring or all that original, he has succeeded in the past by going with the sure bet.

Last year the president correctly picked the top-ranked North Carolina as the men's national champion. In the spring of 2008, he took a break from the campaign trail to play some hoops with the Tar Heels, so he had inside knowledge of its game. North Carolina, like Kansas this year, came in as the top-ranked team, making it a safe bet for the Final Four and title.

But Obama had some early setbacks to his bracket that left him open for criticism, putting all his hope on the Tar Heels.

When North Carolina came to the White House to be honored for its title, Obama thanked the squad for "vindicating" him in front of the entire nation.

Last year Obama implored North Carolina to go out and win the tournament and not let him down.

This year, he had his own version of "Win one for the Gipper" message for the Jayhawks.

"You know -- don't let Secretary Sebelius down, she's really counting on it," Obama said in a final message to the Kansas Jayhawks. "And a lot of people are going to give her a hard time if they don't pull it out."

No pressure there. And with that, Obama inked his signature on his oversize bracket with a flourish. He may not sign a health care bill this week, but he did get to use his presidential pen.

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