Obama's Bracket: Breaking Down President's Final Four Picks

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 11:  Harrison Barnes #40 of the North Carolina Tar Heels gestures on court against the Florida State Seminoles during the Final Game of the 2012 ACC Men's Basketball Conference Tournament at Philips Arena on March 11, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

In what has become a yearly tradition, President Barack Obama spent some time with ESPN's Andy Katz to fill out his NCAA tournament bracket. He's been burned by Kansas two years in a row, so this time around he avoided the Jayhawks.

Let's examine each of the President's picks to reach the Final Four and break down their chances of making him look smart.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 10:  Marquis Teague #25, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist #14, Anthony Davis #23 and Terrence Jones #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats react in the first half against the Florida Gators during the semifinals of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament a
Chris Graythen/Getty Images


The President's bracket looking similar to a good portion of America by having Kentucky emerge from the South region. Anthony Davis gives the Wildcats, who are the top overall seed, a clear edge over every team they will play.

Kentucky should reach the Elite Eight with relative ease. Even though Connecticut apparently has some leftover hype from last season, it doesn't have the firepower to knock off the nation's top squad. The Wildcats' first legitimate test will come against Baylor or Duke.

The Bears would be able to match their athleticism, but don't have the defense to slow down Kentucky. Duke's defense is also suspect, so I would say the President made the right pick here.

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Missouri runs the most efficient offense in the country. The Tigers are exciting to watch because they can get up and down the floor in heartbeat, but their defense will likely pose a major roadblock on their Final Four journey.

A tricky second-round matchup will await no matter who wins the opening round game between Florida and Virginia. The Gators are one of the few teams who could score with Missouri while the Cavaliers have an elite defense.

Even if they survive that game, Michigan State will likely be waiting in the Elite Eight and are a more complete team than the Tigers. I have a feeling President Obama will get this one wrong.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 11:  Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts against the Michigan State Spartans during the Final Game of the 2012 Big Ten Men's Conference Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 11, 2012 in Indiana
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Ohio State

The Buckeyes' chances received a boost when it was announced Syracuse big man Fab Melo won't be eligible to play in the tournament. That's a significant piece of the Orange's rotation to lose at such a critical time in the season.

Ohio State has three players averaging more than 14 points and a lockdown defender in Aaron Craft. The team's defense will lead the way having been battle-tested in the nation's top conference, and should help the Buckeyes survive any early upset bids.

The East region is difficult with several contenders like Florida State, Vanderbilt and the aforementioned Orange of Syracuse. That said, I think the President got another one right.

North Carolina

North Carolina is led by the terrific trio of Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller and John Henson. No team in the first couple rounds will have the size to match up with those talented forwards, which means the Tar Heels will be on cruise control.

They appear to be on a collision course with Kansas in the Elite Eight. The Jayhawks will be able to match UNC's depth and have two stars of their own in Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor. If the clash materializes, it would be on of the tourney's best games.

After selecting Kansas two years in a row, it would only be fitting for the Jayhawks to break through once the President jumps off the bandwagon. That's exactly what I expect to happen.


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