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I've disagreed with Obama a bit, but I've agreed with him a lot more.

However, after his latest choices, he is clearly shown as a man who goes for more of the same. He goes with the established powers. And he does some tinkering with the minor decisions, but I'm not fooled.

If not, why so many picks reinforcing the status quo in his NCAA bracket? Then he compounds the problem by flip flopping on the tough decisions like 8-9 seeds and of course going in for trendy upset picks like VCU-UCLA. Note particularly his disdain for the red state Kentucky as he crosses out Louisville as champs and goes with blue-state North Carolina, a clear sop for him winning there in November. I've already psychoanalyzed this choice, and it's pretty clear, but I'll save you the details of my intricate thought process so I can get the maximum zingers in.

Oh sure, he picks some minor upsets, even putting my Purdue Boilermakers over Washington in the 4-5 game. But he obviously doesn't have the REAL guts to support, say, Purdue against the more talented (and bluer-stated) Connecticut. If that is not crushing good old American know-how and determination, what with Purdue housing lots of inventy engineers and stuff, I don't know what is.

I should not have been surprised, though. Last year he showed himself woefully weak on defense picking offensive-minded Baylor over defensive-minded Purdue. We saw how that worked out!

I am sure I could go to and see if he preferred offensive minded teams this year, but if it turns out he prefers defensive minded teams, then that proves he just wants to turn America into a bunch of unimaginative fools who try to stop each other from doing anything constructive.

Finally Obama also shows a lingering spitefulness over losing the swing state of Missouri by spelling it MiSSou and not MiZZou. And he failed to scrawl in "ARIZONA BUT NO ST MARYS? WHERE'S THE JUSTICE?" in the space below the championship game.

P.S. there was video of him discussing his picks but if I watched it I might have to edit some of this above. I'm a busy man and I don't have time for facts right now. Plus in this economy either my job is in jeopardy or I need to remind others their jobs were in jeopardy.

P.P.S. if he picked no 1-seeds to go to the final four, he'd obviously be oblivious to facts as they are and living in a liberal dream world.

Edited a bunch of times to add various zingers...

And to express my regret for not including the following poll options, since I'm not too experienced at this diary thing:
--better/worse than Hillary's would've been, so THERE
--something he shoulda delegated to Biden
--Chief Kickingstallionsims's team lost the play-in, who cares
--not as important as his NIT/CBI picks
--lacking heartland values
--[in]sufficient for today's global economy and challenges
--[not] in tune with social forces and the current zeitgeist
--about what Karl Marx would pick, if he were alive today

...and to note many fellow Purdue fans don't share my opinions, but they combine for a funny take on things.

...and finally to say in a very very small voice, I didn't have the guts to fill out a bracket myself! I'm completely unable to be objective about Purdue vs Washington.

Originally posted to Andrew S on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 10:59 AM PDT.


Barack Obama's NCAA picks are

7%6 votes
17%15 votes
1%1 votes
9%8 votes
42%36 votes
22%19 votes

| 85 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  lol (6+ / 0-)

    i have no idea about this ncaa bracket stuff.  Is this not the system that everyone hates?  

    I heard someone on good morning america say "isnt it amazing that obama can aremember all these stats when all this other stuff is going on?

    Yes, isn't it amazing we have a smart president????

    by GlowNZ on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:02:33 AM PDT

    •  no, the hated thing is the BCS (10+ / 0-)

      that's college football.

      The BCS (Bowl Championship Series) takes only the top two teams, determined by a combination of guesses by those allowed to vote and the average rankings from a bunch of computers. All other teams are excluded from competing for the "championship" even if their records are better than the teams that are in. Even if they beat one of the teams that's in!

      In basketball any Division 1A team (based on size of school...there are other divisions with their own tournaments) that wins its conference, no matter what conference it is, has a chance to play for the title.

    •  I think (4+ / 0-)

      generally speaking, people love the heck out of this system.

      You snooze you lose, well I have snost and lost, I'm pushing thru, I'll disregard the cost... -Mike Doughty

      by Sean in Motion on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:21:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's the biggest gambling event in the country (4+ / 0-)

      But it's impossible to regulate office pools, and bad karma if anyone actually got busted for it.

      See Shahryar's explanation about the BCS vs the basketball tourney. It's very good. In this 65-team tourney(there's a play-in game) it's single elimination. All conference tourney champs go and there are 31 at-large bids, mostly to big-conference teams who won 20+ of their 30 games. People, often with no clue who's better other than the seeds, predict the brackets and they can be weighted by round, with a tiebreaker to the championship game's final score. The top few brackets win 90% of the pool, the admin taking 10%.

      Really only 16 teams have a realistic chance to win, but there are always some early round upsets.

      In the first round 2 seeds have only lost a few times since '86, and 1 seeds have never lost. Princeton(Ivy League) almost beat Georgetown in '89, where a disputed late blocked shot may've saved GU. Then 1-seed Purdue almost lost to 16-seed Western Carolina in '96--down 2, WCU missed an open 3 pointer with 5 seconds left. Purdue got beaten by the 8-seed Georgia next round.

      The TV coverage on CBS is wild, switching from one game to another or even showing 2 at once if they are both very close. (Though the 1st 2 rounds are free on the net now.) It calms down after the 1st weekend. People miss a lot of work following their favorite team.

      Winning a tourney pool is a great memory--I only won one, in 1991, when I was the only person picking Duke to win. They beat UNLV, who'd beaten them by 30 in the finals in '90, in the semifinals.

      Oh yeah. I did watch the video but pretended not to for (debatable) comedic effect. I think Obama did a good job.

    •  Nah, it's the football BCS system (0+ / 0-)

      that folks hate -- they'd like to have it more like the basketball tournament (though 64 football teams could be a bit unwieldy). You'd never see a Portland State or Gonzaga playing for the football "national championship", but with a little bit of hard work and a lot of luck they could theoretically hoist the trophy.

      Hey Republicans -- GO GALT YOURSELF!!!

      by Cali Scribe on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:42:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tip jar (26+ / 0-)

    P.S. I'm troll rating anyone who posted anything like this already. I was born in Indiana, and we take our basketball seriously there.

    Well, everywhere except South Bend. Haha.

  •  In all fairness, (5+ / 0-)

    we here in North Carolina did help him win the election.

  •  You pick on his choices/don't watch his rationale (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew S, dougymi, arrows theorem


    I had a couple of sweet sixteen differences, but my elite eight/final four is the same. I don't think UNC is going to win in a championship game (against Pitt) His bracket is conservative but I doubt out of ulterior motive.

    Most people with a highly conservative bracket, it simply reflects a lack of broad knowledge of the field of 65. Honestly, if his bracket were chancy, I'd be scratching my head a bit. And if his bracket were chancy and he did extremely well, I'd either call him lucky, or say he has far more free time on his hands than I feel comfortable with. ;)

    •  I figured it was a perfect conundrum (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Pick on him not knowing enough about a subject, or knowing too much about something trivial.

      Facts would get in the way of cheap yucks, of course. So I avoided them. I think I did a good job of avoiding them!

    •  I'm almost with Obama (0+ / 0-)

      but I've got Wake beating L-ville.

      Should be fun.

      Your dog likes it when you sing for her.

      by aztecraingod on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:47:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, I picked Pitt over UNC. (0+ / 0-)

      Mine are pretty much the same as his as well.

      Basketball knowledge is part accumulation over time, part keeping up with the current season. If you're a fan, it's not that hard to keep up. If you want really accurate assessments, go to Ken Pomeroy's site. There are ways of upping your basketball IQ that don't take that much time.

      Ya wanna pick upsets, go after #4-13 match-ups, although this year looks rather weak for that. Obama didn't bite on any of those; he did take a 10 Maryland over 7 California as well as the 11 VCU over 6 UCLA. I suspect UCLA has been forewarned enough now and didn't pick that myself.

      I personally did pick two #4-13s (Cleveland St., Portland St.) but I may back off Portland St.

      You should also note with these picks there is a "Who Picked Who" accumulator on the site to tell which way the picks are falling. This serves as a secondary line of consensus and for a very busy person a quick way to access more info.

      I also work my way somewhat backwards through the brackets; makes it easier to keep the overall picks for points in balance while finding possible upsets.


      The truth is we are tortured by the truth.

      by walkshills on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:55:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can we fire someone for this? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew S, Sandy on Signal, dougymi, rontun

    i know we can somehow..

    •  Someone in the cabinet. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandy on Signal, rontun

      Geithner's under scrutiny right now. Maybe we can claim Napolitano's Homeland Security folks placed a call to the selection committee about Arizona!

      Or, we could go the opposite direction, and zing LaHood for the first of Obama's picks that miss. Still can't trust Republicans, blah, blah.

      •  Salazar! He's the head of the Department of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandy on Signal

        Interior and should have some control over the vast field of contenders. After all, he can threaten to withhold funds from those damned states and conferences that are hogging the brackets.

        And what's with having Connecticut, Cornell, Maryland, Marquette, Memphis, Chattanooga and Purdue seated in the west? Doesn't the NCAA know where the Mississippi River is located?

        "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." JFK - January 20, 1961

        by rontun on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:51:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Better than teams being on the road. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          In '85 and '86 Purdue played 2 1st-round NCAA road games in a row. Losing to cinderella final-4 and #11 LSU in double OT in '86. That sort of thing is why there's some form of enforced neutral sites now. So we don't complain.

          I imagine you know part of the argument for the mass Go West, Young [Mascot]--unfortunately there probably just weren't enough teams that could fit in the west without overlapping conferences. Plus the Big East and BigEleven with 7 mean 2 have to go to 3 regions(3 in 1 region=risk conference foes meet in 3rd round,) 1 to the 4th no matter what.

          •  Neutral, Schmeutral! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sandy on Signal

            How fair is that?

            The NCAA tournament was fair when its final four was played at Freedom Hall in Louisville.

            I mean, moving it around the country makes as much sense as moving the Kentucky Derby to Pimlico.

            I know you IU people believe Indiana is basketball.

            So don't expect me to consider any of your arguments rational! Mine aren't, so neither are yours!

            "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." JFK - January 20, 1961

            by rontun on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:46:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I blame Daschle. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andrew S, RethinkEverything

      Your dog likes it when you sing for her.

      by aztecraingod on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:48:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  wow... talk about conventional wisdom (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew S, Lying eyes

    no upsets?  No Cinderellas? WTF?

    The closest he comes to picking a Cinderella for the sweet sixteen is picking Purdue and  Florida State. Talk about going out on a limb.  I think there's a Basketball Bubble going on here. The guy's obviously being influenced too much by the MSM and the ESPN punditocracy.

    Oh, and IU sucks. So does PU. I won't say what I think about that scrub team in A².


    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:22:38 AM PDT

  •  On ESPN this morning (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew S, dougymi

    the guy who got to do the Obama brackets piece said he asked the President whether his picking Utah over Arizona was a dig at McCain.

    "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

    by aggressiveprogressive on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:23:59 AM PDT

    •  More likely because AZ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      swept his brother-in-law's team in Pac-10 play...but most commentators are thinking that this is probably Arizona's weakest team and really doesn't belong in there; more a sop to the recently retired Lute Olson. Utah should handle the Wildcats easily.

      Hey Republicans -- GO GALT YOURSELF!!!

      by Cali Scribe on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:53:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You get a tip for the Kenpom shoutout. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew S

    I live and die with that man's numbers... Last year his efficiency formulas got me 6/8 Elite 8, 3/4 Final Four, and the National Champion.

    •  Thanks, he and John Gasaway/bigtenwonk (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arrows theorem

      Introduced me to the new statistics. Particularly interesting to see how well they calculate point totals. His schedule projections are addictive--I check em after every Purdue game.

      I really only recently discovered them once Purdue started playing better. I followed the games but had no reason to follow the tourney, or any stats in detail. I saw the tail of Bigtenwonk and of course basketballprospectus is very cool too.

      Amazing how many of their new stats have become quickly accepted as important(Offensive Rebounding %, eFG, offensive/defensive efficiency) and they make so much common sense.

  •  it's East Coast bias,..or Midwest or sumpin' (0+ / 0-)

    The Prez has the Pac-10 teams losing fairly quickly. We'll see if he's right. I don't think he is.

    So, to recap:

    Good - keeping his word so far on his campaign talk
    Bad - FISA vote, anti Pac-10 picks

  •  Us Illinoisians... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew S, larmos

    are not gonna forget he picked Illinois to lose in the second round! Traitor!

    •  I'm with you indyjoe! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andrew S

      at least he's not listening to the crazies who are suggesting we may be the #5 team that loses to the 12 this year.

      I live in Seattle and wish I could go see the games, but tickets are pretty pricey!

      •  I think they survive, too (0+ / 0-)

        Shame about Chester Frazier. With him, Illinois beat Purdue twice. But I think WKU is currently such a popular upset against UI that picking UI is probably the right percentage move.

        I read a few message board threads where Purdue/Illinois fans will try to cheer for the other Big11 team to offset the semi-home advantages of (probably) Gonzaga/Washington, assuming seeds hold. That'd be cool. Purdue fans certainly want Bruce Weber to do well.

  •  Once again, no urban agenda. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew S

    Sure NC a state-wide university. What about the Cleveland State Cinderellas? OK stop laughing. We'll sick the dreaded Pittsburgh Polecats on you.

  •  The poll needs more choices for haters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew S

    The natural inclination from Minnesota is to hate the Badgers>  It's just sports though, we gotta love our beer and cheese friends to the east.  And what better representation of the best Wisconsin has to offer than Beer Cheese Soup...  Perfection in a bowl!

    "If the good Lord had intended for us to walk, He wouldn't have invented roller skates." - Willy Wonka

    by RethinkEverything on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:02:29 PM PDT

    •  Good point. Other choices I forgot: (0+ / 0-)

      I didn't feel quite mean enough for some of them yet.

      "Duke shoulda lost earlier"
      "[team that beat my team] shoulda lost earlier"
      "[conference X] did too well/poorly"
      "Obama shoulda crossed his Z's. Sloppy sloppy."
      "My team missed the NCAAs. I don't care."
      "We need a bottom-65 NCAA tourney, eliminating winners."
      "No more Billy Packer, yay"

  •  Obama obviously believes Texas will not be going (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew S

    blue in 2012. :)


    Liberalism is trust of the people, tempered by prudence; conservatism, distrust of people, tempered by fear.

    by TXDemJenn on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:06:15 PM PDT

  •  I was hoping Obama would pick the UTC Mocs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew S

    over U Conn.  It would have been nice of him, since he didn't I voted Obama too stodgy in his picks.

    It would be a huge upset if UTC wins.  I am keeping my fingers crossed... Go Mocs.  

  •  I filled one out, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew S

    ...but I'm not sure I have the guts to turn it in with my hard-earned $5.  

    I didn't have the guts to fill out a bracket myself! I'm completely unable to be objective ..

    I think I'm having trouble with the "objectivity thing", too - the odds-makers don't give much chance for a Minnesota (Go Gophers!) over Cornell final.

    I like my government transparent, and my beer opaque.

    by NormAl1792 on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 01:22:33 PM PDT

    •  Can't blame you (0+ / 0-)

      Both teams are definitely on the upswing in basketball, so I imagine just enjoying that is enough!

      If I had 2 teams to root for, I'd be tempted to submit 2 brackets--1 with, say, Minnesota over Cornell and 1 with Cornell over Minnesota!

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