Obama and the Final Four

The question everyone is asking these days is, “Who do you have going to the Final Four?”

Everyone’s doing it, even President Obama.

Today, ESPN broadcast Obama filling out his bracket from the White House. The president went through each game on a large white board in front of the cameras, coming up with his own Final Four: Kentucky vs. Missouri in one semifinal, Ohio State vs. North Carolina in the other.

North Carolina is Obama’s pick to win it all this year, beating Kentucky in the final.

Very political, Mr. President, very political. Two No. 1 seeds vs. two No. 2 seeds. Not exactly going out on the limb here, are we?

ESPN played this up as Obama vs. Jay Bilas, the network’s college basketball expert. But Bilas took even less chances than Obama, electing to go chalk with his Final Four picks and selecting all No. 1 seeds.

I guess that I can’t criticize the president too much. On this issue, anyway. I’ve also got Kentucky and North Carolina in my Final Four, but that’s where the president and I go our separate ways. I like No. 3 Florida State to come out of the East and No. 4 Louisville to win the West.

I’m even picking Florida State to win it all, beating Louisville in the final.

Of the three of us, I can be fairly certain that Bilas gave his selections the most thought. He is, after all, getting “expert” pay and has the most to lose. Therefore he made the safest picks of all.

The president doesn’t have as much to lose, because the nation expects its leader to be wrapped up in other issues – the economy, national security, etc. –
rather than fretting over if No. 6 Murray State has what it takes to come out of the West. But he doesn’t want to get embarrassed either, this being an election year and all. So he plays it safe, too, with a couple of 1s and a couple of 2s.

Me? I’ll be on to my top picks for fantasy baseball before you can say Mississippi Valley State University. By the time the Regional Finals are being contested to crown a new Final Four, my own selections will be relegated to the archives of this blog. That’s why I’ve got a 3 and a 4 to keep the 1s company. If one of them gets there, I’ll remind people I picked them here. If not, the subject may quickly turn to which catcher presents the most value in your fantasy baseball draft.

The tournament is off to a great start. Western Kentucky, the only sub .500 team in the Big Dance, rallied from 16 points behind to beat Mississippi Valley State last night, then BYU topped that by overcoming a 25-point deficit against Iona.

BYU’s record comeback leads into the conclusion of the “First Four” tonight, with Lamar and Vermont in a meeting of No. 16s and California vs. South Florida in a battle of No. 12s.

The president, Jay Bilas and I have made our picks, Obama and Bilas in a much more public forum than mine, I admit, but my selections are on the record too. What about yours?

Who do you have going to the Final Four?

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