Tales from the Trail

Obama Bracketology — he picks Kansas, again!

March 16, 2011

They failed him once, but President Barack Obama is sure Kansas won’t fail him twice in a row in the NCAA Basketball  Championship.

In what has become a  much-anticipated annual ritual, Obama joined in on the March Madness and filled out his bracket on ESPN’s SportsCenter. He picked Kansas to go all the way, beating Ohio State in the final game.

“I’m giving them a chance at redemption,” Obama told ESPN’s Andy Katz as he stood, pen in hand, in the White House Library to complete his bracket for the men’s championship. “I picked Kansas last year to win it and I got hurt.”

This year, Obama picked all the top seeds to make it to the Final Four – a first for him. But after filling in Kansas, Ohio State, Pittsburgh and Duke in the slots for the semi-final games, he blamed it on the way the brackets came together.

Picking Duke to get to that round was easy. “Last year I did not pick Duke and Coach K gave me a hard time,” Obama said. The Blue Devils went on to win the championship in 2010.

In the end this year, Obama said he chose depth in the final game and also went with his gut.OBAMA/

“I’m picking Kansas because I think they’re deeper,” he said. “I think Kansas has more firepower.”

Might the Jayhawks be spurred on to do better this year with a little nudging from the most powerful man in the country?

“They always feel bad about losing when the president’s picking,” said the Number One Fan and avid basketball player. “I think they’re going to go all the way.”

Obama also urged basketball fans to donate money for Japan’s earthquake and tsunami victims while online filling out their brackets.

Photo credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas (Obama watches basketball game with his family in November)

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