NCAA mystery: Why did Obama change his pick?

March 18, 2009

Call it the March Madness Mystery — why did President Barack Obama change his pick of which college basketball team would win the NCAA tournament?

Obama, an avid basketball fan and recreational player, first chose Pittsburgh to go into the semifinal against Louisville, which he predicted would win the whole thing.

NCAA/BASKETBALLBut then something changed his mind. He scratched out Pittsburgh, wrote in North Carolina to play against Louisville and then changed his choice of tournament winner to the Tarheels.

What does he know that we don’t? What made him switch from having no confidence that North Carolina would even reach the semifinals to full confidence they would be the champions?

In earlier plays, Obama also switched to Tennessee from Oklahoma, to Florida State from Xavier, to VCU from UCLA, and to Oklahoma from Clemson.

He did the picks on a board that carried the presidential seal and title “Presidential Bracket,” according to

Wonder what team Obama would have chosen if Oregon State were in the bracket, after all that’s where his brother-in-law is a basketball coach.

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Photo credit: Reuters/Jeff Haynes (UNC mascot at last year’s NCAA game)


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Am I the only one who would like the President to be spending his time on something OTHER than March Maddness — like maybe the ECONOMY???? My life savings has gone down the toilet due to the stock market — and HE’S workig on his BRACKETS?

YIKES! Is this the Twilight Zone?

Posted by Concerned Mom | Report as abusive

Thank goodness he has time to make picks and then change his mind about those picks; between this and his television appearances it’s a wonder he has any time to fulfill his presidential duties. He does not want to worry about the day-to-day gyrations of the stock market (even though it has gone down, down, down pretty consistently since he was elected) but he has time to worry about the day-to-day gyrations of the NCAA tournament.

Thankfully, I think the people will soon start changing their pick of leadership.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Seriously, does anyone care?

Posted by Susan | Report as abusive

Just trying to secure votes for the next election. That’s all he is doing.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

President Bush recently spent his 879th day at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, since the Supreme Court, in all its great wisdom, elevated him to the presidency. This according to NPR’s “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me,” which noted that Bush broke former President Reagan’s record for taking vacations from the White House.rIt’s interesting to recall, all these wild years later, that George W. Bush did not decide to buy the ranch near Crawford until after he decided to run for president. Apparently, after Ronald Reagan’s example, it seemed presidential to cut brush on a ranch, and Bush was seeking a brush with history. Or something.

Posted by george | Report as abusive

Firs of all George, Bush won the electoral count and the election. When it was recounted by the democrats, led by minority leader Richard Gephardt, six months later he still won.

Now, had the plan Al Gore succeeded, as he wanted, then Bush would have won by an even larger margin in Florida. So, you can stop, Gore lost the election fair and square. (All he needed to do was win his home state of Tennessee and he would have won. That says alot about what people knew about him. Correctly so).

Your point about Bush taking time away from Washington DC, is very meaningless. The job of a president is hard enough for anyone who occupies the White House. They all take a lot of time away.

What the hell is your point? It doesn’t matter.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

another smoke screen tc talk about barney and chris ,if this guy if he had the facts tatooed on his head it would make no about obama high tailing it out town because of the least the sheriff in blazing saddles stood his ground.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Concerned Mom – no you are not the only right wingnut who thinks the President shouldnt take a few minutes for lighthearted conversation.

Posted by Pamela | Report as abusive

Wow, I think everybody needs to just calm down. He probably spent all of 10 minutes on this. The man is working like a dog on a lot of important issues. I don’t see the problem with him spending a few minutes to fill in a tourney bracket. Lord knows GW Bush spent enough time vacationing during his term to fill a few presidencies.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

I’m delighted that the President is tuned into THE tournament of 2009! He is having fun! And, I’m sure it takes the pressures of the intense crises – economy, foreclosures, health care, et al. I’m impressed that he knows the teams well enough to make a pick! When have we had a president who a “peoples” president!

Posted by Ann Molison | Report as abusive

For those whining about Obama spending 20 minutes on picking his brackets, GIVE ME A BREAK! Even the busiest person in the world (The President) deserves a little “down time” from time to time. Plus it’s reassuring to people to see the President so relaxed and confident. I recommend looking into the history of The Great Depression and how FDR handled it.

Also – George W. Bush spent ***40 Percent*** of his Presidency on vacation. So… PLEASE stop it with the whining. It’s weak!

Posted by Jonny | Report as abusive

yes this is certainly change, but are we going to see him on “dancing with the stars”?there was an other emperor in past history but his thing was fiddling.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Concerned Mom: As a mom, you know what it takes to manage a 16 hour day, keeping both private and semi-private concerns going. It ain’t easy. Try planning a planet. its a great sign of mental health that he can take 12 minutes of his life to pay attention to a sport he loves. Its those things that make people who they are and give them their momentary diversions into self-ness (which in small doses is at least as important as 24-7 selflessness if we want our leaders to be sane).

Posted by Sean o | Report as abusive