Barack Obama vs George H.W. Bush: 44 Takes On 41 in NCAA Tournament Bracket Challenge

March Madness got underway on Thursday and former US presidents are taking the NCAA Tournament very seriously.

On Wednesday, Barack Obama revealed he had picked Michigan State University to triumph in the men's tournament, and University of Connecticut among the women. Not to be outdone in the basketball stakes, George H.W. Bush has also had a shot at predicting the tournament winner.

If Obama's prediction was based on form—the Spartans won the Big 10 Tournament this year after ending the regular season with a 29-4 overall record—Bush's have more than a hint of home bias, as he picked Texas A&M to triumph in the Final Four.

The Aggies, who get their tournament underway at 12.15 p.m. EST on Friday against Providence, are ranked seventh in the West Region and have never made it past the Sweet Sixteen stage, which they last reached in 2016.

But Bush senior, who holds an honorary degree from Texas A&M and whose presidential library is located on the school's campus in College Station, was adamant they could spring a surprise and made it to the final on home soil in San Antonio.

To do so, the 41st President of the U.S. expects the Aggies to knock out the top three ranked teams in the West, starting with number 2 seed North Carolina in Round 2, before disposing of number 3 seed Michigan in the Sweet Sixteen round and beating top ranked Xavier in the Elite Eight.

Bush tipped the Aggies to then beat top seeds Virginia and Villanova in the Final Four to clinch the title.

Obama welcomed the competition and even praised Bush's decision to stick by his home team.

The 44th President had plenty to brag about on Thursday, after one of his upset picks, 11th ranked Loyola-Chicago beat number six Miami 64-62.

However, both Obama and Bush saw two of their tips come unstuck as Arizona, ranked fourth in the South region, fell to an 89-68 defeat against 13 seed Buffalo, while eight seed Virginia Tech lost 86-83 to number nine seed Alabama.

Barack Obama vs George H.W. Bush: 44 Takes On 41 in NCAA Tournament Bracket Challenge | Sports