No more madness: Trump to discontinue Obama's NCAA Tournament bracket tradition

Posted at 3:53 PM, Mar 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-06 17:53:44-05

With the end of Barack Obama's presidency has also come the end of an eight-year March tradition between the president and ESPN's Andy Katz.

For each of the last eight years, Katz visited the White House to join Obama as he filled out his annual bracket for the NCAA men's basketball tournament. 

Turns out the tradition was actually the brainchild of the long-time ESPN college basketball analyst.

"I had the idea during the campaign in 2008, and the reason was because President Obama played the sport, loved the sport and had more than a passing interest," Katz told ABC15 sports director Craig Fouhy on Monday.

But Obama's successor has declined to continue the tradition, as we learned last month that President Trump will not fill out a bracket with ESPN this year.

That news didn't come as a surprise to Katz, since neither Trump nor his general-election opponent are basketball fanatics like Obama is.

"During this election season, I didn't think either national candidate -- whether it was Hillary Clinton from the Democrats or Donald Trump from the Republicans -- would be a great fit for it," he said.

"So, I was not surprised when President Trump declined our offer to do the bracket just because I didn't think he was into it."

For what it's worth, Obama was not terribly successful at picking NCAA champions: He got the winner right just once (North Carolina in 2009), meaning he was unsuccessful in picking the eventual champ on each of his last seven tries during his time in the Oval Office.