Since the President of the United States of America is going to be scrutinized for his policies on taxes, employment, the economy, his political beliefs, and virtually every other decision he makes, it makes sense to scrutinize his March Madness bracket as well.
Even as busy as he is nowadays, he still found time to fill out his picks.
For those who don't know, and who haven't watched the fantastic HBO Real Sports interview with Barack Obama, he is a huge basketball fan. More so than just a fan, he's a player, and it's one of his favorite hobbies.
So naturally, just like everyone else in North America who doesn't work for the NCAA, he's filling out a bracket.
Obama doesn't have a ton of upsets in the first round, and he definitely doesn't go the clichéd way of picked the 12-5 upset. He has all four No. 5 seeds—Purdue, Illinois, Florida State, and Utah—advancing.
As a matter of fact, he picked only five seeds that are lower in the ranks (and underdogs according to March Madness odds) to progress through the first round.
Those five teams are No. 10 Maryland, No. 11 Temple, No. 9 Butler, No. 11 VCU, and No. 9 Tennessee.
Maryland is a good underdog pick as California simply relies on outside jumpers. Gary Williams and Co. will cut that off, leaving Cal looking for some options. Temple is an interesting pick, but I disagree there. Arizona State's defense will probably be too much for them. I like Butler over LSU, considering Butler is ahead of LSU in the polls anyways.
As far as VCU over UCLA, I think too many people are buying this Eric Maynor magic. It happened against Duke—it's not happening again. Also, Tennessee stumbles into this Tournament on a sour note. I don't think they are doing anything against the Cowboys, who have won eight of their last 10.
Beyond that, there are not many upsets in the Obama bracket.
In the Midwest region, the Obama bracket has the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4 seeds in the Sweet Sixteen. In the East, South, and West, it's the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, and No. 5 seeds.
Overall, Obama's NCAA picks don't include anyone below a No. 3 seed in the Elite Eight, and Memphis is the only non-No. 1 seed in the Final Four.
I know that all four No. 1 seeds made the Final Four last year, but that was the first time ever.
The Obama bracket isn't banking on many upsets, but I think that's how a lot of people feel going into the Tournament.
How funny would it be if he actually won a contest, taking home something like a $2 million prize? That would be a nice stimulus package, if you know what I'm saying.
The Obama Bracket is a great idea, and I'm glad that he's part of the Madness. Plus, who am I to criticize the President's picks?