Home > NCAA Basketball > President Obama pretty conservative with March Madness predictions

President Obama pretty conservative with March Madness predictions

President Obama’s pretty liberal, but he went conservative with his bracket for the 2011 NCAA Tournament, refusing to go out on a limb with his March Madness Final Four predictions.

The President, in an interview with ESPN, picked the four No. 1 seeds to make it to the Final Four, with the Kansas Jayhawks as the NCAA Basketball champions, beating the No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes.

President Obama said he was well aware that the only time all four No. 1 seeds made the Final Four was in 2008.

He also acknowledged that how good a pick the Duke Blue Devils, the No. 1 seed in the West Region, will be depends on if Kyrie Irving plays throughout the tournament. Speaking of difference makers, in Obama’s bracket, the Blue Devils play the Connecticut Huskies in the Elite Eight, and UConn’s Kemba Walker could end up being the difference in the whole tournament.

There are no real underdogs in the President’s bracket. He picks several upsets in the second round of the tournament, but when the field is narrowed down to the Sweet Sixteen the lowest-ranked seeds are a pair of No. 5 seeds both nicknamed Wildcats, Arizona and Kansas State.

Last year, Obama picked Kansas to win it, but Duke prevailed. He correctly picked the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2009.

“I have never picked all number-one seeds,” Obama told ESPN’s Andy Katz. “As I said, if this bracket were a little different, I might have picked it a little differently.”

But perhaps – just perhaps – President Obama has (gasp!) bigger things on his mind, like an unemployment rate of 9.5 per cent, and the fact a group of economists projects an unemployment rate of 7.7 per cent when he’s up for re-election in November of 2012. That would be the highest jobless rate facing an incumbent president since Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter in 1976.

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