Tales from the Trail

Obama Bracketology — he picks Kansas, again!

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.

Obama picks Kansas in college basketball bracket

It’s March Madness time again and everybody with basketball savvy or a wee bit of Irish luck is filling out their NCAA college basketball brackets. OBAMA/

Participants in this annual craze have several ways of deciding who to pick: They pay close attention to what teams are up or down, they crib from their unsuspecting friends’ brackets, or they like the color of a particular team’s uniform or their nickname. Like the Georgetown Hoyas, whatever a Hoya might be.

Which brings us to President Obama, a passionate fan of basketball who is still young enough, 48, that he can play a pick-up game with his pals and not worry overly much about blowing out a knee. Who honestly is going to foul the president, for instance?