Thursday, March 15, 2012

Obama's Final Four

President Barack Obama unveiled his NCAA Final Four picks: Kentucky, Ohio State, Missouri, and North Carolina. He selected UNC to win the Championship.

Obviously Kentucky is a standard pick to go deep. #1 team in the country, #1 overall seed. They do have Duke in their bracket. But the President is politically savvy enough to know that most people hate Duke. Obama did pick the Blue Devils last year. Then again, he didn't have to run for President last year. More voters hate Duke than like Duke.

Obama might have picked Ohio State because of Fab Melo's ineligibility hurting Syracuse. Or because Ohio has 20 electoral votes and is perhaps the most important swing state in the election. No Republican has ever been elected President without winning Ohio. In other words, Obama winning Ohio blocks the Republican road to the White House

The Missouri pick reflects one of the "sexy" picks to win the tournament. Mizzou's won 30 games and have a good shot to beat Michigan State in their region. Obama lost Missouri by 0.14% in November of 2008. 3,903 votes. The Mizzou Arena holds 15,061 fans. If Obama gets some Tiger fans to switch sides, he could win Missouri in 2012.

North Carolina is a good basketball pick. Obama probably wants to avoid Kansas, too, as he's picked the Jayhawks before and they've been disappointing in tournament play. This is also a good political pick. Obama won North Carolina in 2008, by 0.32%. His margin of victory was 14,177 votes in the usually Republican state. North Carolina will probably return to the GOP column in 2012, but with Obama picking the Tar Heels to win it all, perhaps the Republicans won't be able to cover the spread.

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