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Former President Obama releases his March Madness 2021 bracket

Which team is going to win the 2021 men's NCAA tournament? Obama thinks Gonzaga is going to take it all the way.

WASHINGTON — Former President Barack Obama on Thursday released his March Madness bracket. Of the 68 teams competing, he selected No. 1 seed Gonzaga University to take home the trophy in the NCAA Division 1 men's basketball tournament.

Obama's bracket has Gonzaga beating the University of Illinois in the championship game, and the University of Michigan and Baylor University making it to the Final Four. 

For the women's NCAA basketball tournament, he picked Baylor to beat Stanford in the championship game.

"Like many of you, I’m thrilled that #MarchMadness is finally back," he tweeted on Thursday along with his picks.

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Obama has released his March Madness predictions every year since 2009, according to The Hill. Presidential brackets became a tradition during his time in office, as Obama would fill one out then discuss it on SportsCenter each year. Former president Donald Trump declined ESPN's offer to take part. It's not yet known whether President Joe Biden plans to do a tournament bracket. 

Last year's tournament was scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic and there are a couple of key changes in place this year to make sure the event can happen safely. 

First, the entire tournament is happening in one geographic location, with most of the games occurring in Indianapolis. 

The First Four will kick things off on Thursday, March 18. All of the First Four games will happen on one day, as opposed to being spread out over two days like past years. 

Then, the remaining 64 teams will compete when the First Round gets underway on Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20. 

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What are the odds of a perfect bracket? 

According to NCAA.com, if you were to simply guess or flip a coin for each matchup, the odds of a perfect NCAA bracket are 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. 

However, NCAA.com also notes that the odds are more like 1 in 120.2 billion, if the person making the bracket takes into account info about which teams are better and tournament history. 

It's believed that the closest anyone has gotten to a perfect bracket occurred during the last March Madness. 

During the 2019 tournament, an Ohio man correctly guessed all the games going into the Sweet 16, according to NCAA.com. But his streak of 49 correct picks was ended when Purdue beat Tennessee 99-94 in overtime of the second game in the Sweet 16.