Obama Picks North Carolina in NCAA March Madness Bracket

Matt Vasilogambros
National Journal

President Obama, sports-enthusiast-in-chief, made his bracket picks for the NCAA basketball tournament, choosing the North Carolina Tar Heels to go all the way.

The president appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter to discuss his picks in a feature that has come to be known as “Barack-etology.” He predicts that North Carolina will beat Kentucky in the championship game, seeking some revenge for a loss to the Wildcats in December. Coincidentally, North Carolina is a swing state in the 2012 election, but no word on politics.

“They are an older team, a more experienced team,” Obama said. “And since they won it for me the last time I picked them, hopefully I’ll be able to get a little redemption for the last two years.”

Obama doesn’t have the best track record with his NCAA picks, choosing the eventually doomed Kansas Jayhawks to win the past two years. But in this tournament, he said it’s important to look at momentum when picking teams. “Whoever is looking hotter at the end of the year, those are the teams that I’m more inclined to pick,” he said.

Not surprisingly, our nation’s point guard likes point guards. He explains, “The ability to control the game, limit turnovers, I think that ends up making a difference. Other than that, it’s just throwing darts.”

Notably, the president did not pick his alma mater, Harvard, to get out of the first round. Education Secretary Arne Duncan once played for Harvard's basketball team. “I will be rooting for Harvard,” Obama said, “but it’s just too much of a stretch.”

And it seems that the economy isn’t the only thing that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney treats differently than the president. The former Massachusetts governor will not fill out a bracket for the NCAA basketball tournament. Romney is not known for his love of sports, and he has gotten heat for saying he knows NFL and NASCAR team owners.

“I’m not betting on this one,” he said on Fox News on Thursday. “I’m sitting this one out.”

The first round of the NCAA Tournament starts on Thursday, going until the National Championship game on April 2 in New Orleans.