President Barack Obama filled out an NCAA Tournament bracket with ESPN’s Andy Katz Tuesday night for the fifth consecutive year, and he showed plenty of love to both of Wisconsin’s teams.
Obama went nearly straight chalk, picking all four first, second and third seeds to advance to the Sweet 16, with the only upset coming in the form of a Badgers victory over the winner of Boise State and LaSalle.
“There will be a theme here,” Obama told Katz, “and that is I really think the Big Ten was far and away the best conference this year.”
The President continued to be bullish on Bo Ryan’s squad, picking it over No. 1 seed Gonzaga to reach the Elite Eight saying, “This is where my Big Ten bias comes through. Even though (Kelly) Olynyk is a great big man, he’s got great hair and does a great job, I think Wisconsin is going to pull off the upset.”
Obama had the Badgers ultimately falling to Ohio State in a rematch of Sunday’s Big Ten championship game.
“Even though I love Wisconsin, I had a chance to meet those young men when I was up there, they’re really nice guys” he said, “But I’m going to have to go with Ohio State. I think (Aaron) Craft’s defense is unbelievable and that makes a big difference.”
The President, who picked two correct Final Four squads last year, didn’t buy in to the conventional pundit wisdom that has No. 14 Davidson as the clearest upset of the weekend over Marquette. Instead, he had the Golden Eagles not only beating the Wildcats but advancing past Butler as well before succumbing to No. 2 Miami in the Sweet 16.
This is the second straight year Obama has chosen both Wisconsin and Marquette to advance to the second weekend, correctly predicting both would be bounced out in the Sweet 16.