We’ve been telling you all week not to overthink your NCAA tournament bracket and go with Kentucky, and it looks like even President Obama is taking our advice (okay, probably not; but if you’re an avid reader of UPROXX, I hope you enjoyed the Parks and Rec oral history).
POTUS went with the Wildcats to beat Villanova in his official bracket, and he also had Arizona and Duke in his Final Four. Obama shared his picks on ESPN in a segment they called Baracketology, and he broke it down pretty much pick-by-pick with Andy Katz. He also mentioned that he’d like to see the shot clock get down to 30 seconds (which is hard to argue with).
He signed his bracket and said, “This is going to be the year, guys. I’m winning the pool.” You can find his full bracket here.
Here are a few things that stood out:
- He has five of the seven ACC teams making a run to the Sweet Sixteen or further (Notre Dame, North Carolina, Louisville, Virginia and Duke), and three in the Elite Eight. That being said, he’s hedging a bit here – only one of those ACC teams is in the Final Four.
- As he has been in other years, Obama is big on the top seeds. Three No. 1s make it to the Final Four in his bracket, along with a No. 2.
- Interesting that he’d go with Ohio State over VCU in the first round (not that he has the Buckeyes moving on past the Round of 32). He must be a big believer in D’Angelo Russell.
- Jerian Grant gets a shoutout, as Barack talks up Notre Dame to the Elite Eight.
- The president is rocking that Buffalo over West Virginia upset: “They play great D, so I’m going to pick them.” He also has Wyoming topping Northern Iowa in the first round (sorry, Seth Tuttle).
- Obama’s biggest upset of the tournament is Davidson over Gonzaga in the Round of 32. He’s been checking those stats; Gonzaga hasn’t made a Sweet Sixteen since 2009.
- As for picking Villanova to the Final Four, Obama mentioned that the Wildcatas haven’t been getting as much attention, but that “this might be ‘Nova’s year.”
- Interesting to see Obama pick both No. 11 winners of the First Four to advance past Xavier and Providence, respectively. Those 11 seeds have had success in the tournament in the past, and Tennessee made the Sweet Sixteen last year.
- The president shows D.C. a little love by putting Georgetown in the Sweet Sixteen. I’m not seeing too, too many people believing in the Hoyas this year.