Arizona, Pac-10 Bust Obama's bracket

Jon ParksContributor IMarch 21, 2009

MIAMI - MARCH 20: A fan of the Temple Owls holds up a President Obama sign during the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament between the Owls and Arizona State Sun Devils at the American Airlines Arena on March 20, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama filled out his bracket with ESPN’s Andy Katz, and we let him have it. Obama picked just one of the Pac-10’s six tournament teams, Washington, to advance past the first round.

“Barack-etology” displayed his East Coast bias, picking Arizona, Arizona State, USC, UCLA, and California to lose in the first round.

Obama went two-for-three on Thursday, as Washington beat Mississippi State 71-58, and Cal lost to Maryland decisively, 84-71. The President was almost 3-0 in his Pac-10 predictions, but a favored UCLA team hung on, beating Virginia Commonwealth 65-64.

Not bad. However, Friday proved to be much more difficult for Obama, as he went 0-3 in his Pac-10 picks.

Arizona State started it off by defeating Temple 66-57 in the early game, despite James Harden’s poor shooting performance. Harden was just one-for-eight from the field, finishing with just nine points, seven rebounds, and three assists. Harden’s teammates, Derek Glasser and Jeff Pendergraph picked up the slack, scoring 22 points apiece in the Devils’ victory.

Things got worse for Obama when another Pac-10 team, Arizona, upset fifth-seeded Utah 84-71.

When Katz questioned Obama’s motives for picking against Arizona, the President replied, “It has nothing to do with McCain. I think Arizona’s a great state. I love playing golf there, but they just sneaked in based on reputation.”

Mr. President, clearly, like you, they weren’t selected solely based on reputation. However, unlike you, hope had nothing to do with it.

The Selection Committee clearly knew what they were doing by choosing Arizona to participate in the tournament for the 25th straight year.

Arizona blistered Utah with its determined offensive attack. Nic Wise showed that Point Guard U is still alive and well in Tucson, dropping 29 points in the contest.

Forward Chase Budinger was just as unstoppable both going to the hoop and on the boards. Budinger had one of the most impressive all-around games of his career, recording 20 points, eight rebounds, five assists, four steals, and one block.

Finally, USC put the icing on Obama’s 0-3 trifecta, dropping seventh-seeded Boston College 72-55.

Obama finished the first round with a 2-4 record amongst his Pac-10 picks.

Right about now, college basketball fans everyone must be questioning this new President’s judgment.

Let’s just hope his economic plan fairs better than his NCAA tournament bracket.


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