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Obama Uses March Madness to Urge Fans to Donate to Japan

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March 11 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama urged basketball fans to take a break from filling out brackets predicting college basketball tournament winners to visit the U.S. Agency for International Development’s website and consider making a donation “to help the people who have been devastated in Japan.”

“Go to usaid.gov and that’s going to list a whole range of charities where you can potentially contribute,” Obama said during an interview for broadcast later today on ESPN, where he reveals his own choices for the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s basketball championship, an event promoted as March Madness. “I think that would be a great gesture as you’re filling out your brackets.”

“This is a great tradition, we have fun every year doing it,” Obama said of the college basketball tournament. “But while you’re doing it, if you’re on your laptop,” consider making a contribution, Obama said.

Obama predicted that the four top-seeded teams -- the University of Kansas, Duke University, Ohio State University, and the University of Pittsburgh -- will reach the semi-finals, known as the Final Four.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hans Nichols in Washington at hnichols2@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net.

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