Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Barack-etology 2011

For the 3rd straight year President Obama has filled out NCAA Tournament brackets for ESPN. 

ESPN College Basketball analyst Andy Katz (you can find his blog post here) was at the White House yesterday to host the segment for SportsCenter and the other ESPN platforms. The video is embedded below. Two years ago he correctly picked UNC to win the NCAA Tournament. Last year his pick of Kansas got knocked out in the second round.

You can find Obama's brackets for both the Mens and Womens tournaments on the White House website. He will appear on SportsCenter again tomorrow morning with Doris Burke to unveil his Womens Tournament bracket. Earlier today on Sportscenter John Buccigross and Doug Gottlieb said that Obama's signed bracket from two years ago is displayed in the ESPN cafeteria. I'll post my bracket at some point between now and tip off on Thursday. Really struggling with it this year and coming out with a lot of chalk results and that is why I am not really surprised that Obama is going with the four #1s
Obama's Mens Tournament Bracket for ESPN

Obama's Womens Tournament Bracket

From ESPN's SportsCenter earlier today. 
ESPN has entered Obama's bracket as an entry into their Tournament Challenge. How well will he do? In a usual year I may have criticized Obama for going chalk with his bracket but in talking with other college basketball fans most of us are coming out with brackets very similar to his.
Andy Katz has had some nice exclusives with Barack Obama over the past few years.

Neil Best of Newsday pointed out, it is worth noting that Obama picked Kansas to win it all again. They are the only one of his Final Four teams that doesn't play in a battleground state. Reid Wilson noted earlier today that one of Obama's first round upsets is Marquette over Xavier (the alma mater of Speak John Boehner). I am not a of over analyzing the bracket from a political angle but sometimes it just can't be helped.

What I absolutely have to laugh at is those who criticize Obama for filling out a NCAA bracket. A large chunk of the people criticizing him are probably in a office pool of their own. Just take a look at this clip from Fox "News".

Just because Obama spent a small part of his day with ESPN we are to believe he is not paying attention to what is going on in the world? That sentiment is even more ridiculous when Obama asks people to donate to help the victims in Japan as part of his segments on ESPN. How many people do you think Obama reached out with that message by going on ESPN? I just don't understand the people who act as though just because he is the President he shouldn't do anything "normal". I always point people out to this (and this).
One of the things I wanted to do on the show was, as people are filling out their brackets -- this is obviously a national pastime; we all have a great time, it’s a great diversion.  But I know a lot of people are thinking how can they help the Japanese people during this time of need.  If you go to -- -- that will list all the nonprofits, the charities that are helping out there.  It would be wonderful for people to maybe offer a little help to the Japanese people at this time -- as they’re filling out their brackets.  It’s not going to take a lot of time.  That's  It could be really helpful.
That is what Obama told ESPN about the events that are unfolding in Japan. What more do people want him to do? Do you have a problem with Obama filling out a bracket? Let me know here.

Houston Chronicle takes a look at just how hard it is to predict the NCAA Tournament. ESPN also takes an interesting look at the NCAA Tournament. I honestly had forgotten that it has been nine years since a #15 beat a #2.
As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.
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