¬†¬†CHARLESTON, W.Va. – For many U.S. sports fans, March is the time to obsess over men’s college basketball and the science of “bracketology,” in which fans predict the winner of each game in the 64-team, end-of-season tournament.¬†

For others, of course, bracketology remains a mystery.
U.S. Sen. Barack Obama released his “brackets” on Thursday, reinforcing his credentials as a regular, sports-lovin’ guy who shoots hoops in his spare time on the campaign trail as he runs for the Democratic nomination for U.S. president.

According to Obama, expect North Carolina, Kansas, Pittsburgh and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to reach the final four as semi-finalists.

Team Obama even put his complete picks on its Web site.

Students of politics and sport might note that two of the teams Obama selected are in states yet to vote and polls put him slightly ahead of his rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, in North Carolina, the team he picked to beat UCLA in the final.

But there’s another set of brackets in which Obama has an interest.

The Democratic nominee will face presumptive Republican nominee John McCain in November’s general election and at a sports bar in Charleston, West Virginia, Obama outlined a potential November match-up on a supporter’s bracketology card.