Barack Obama publicized his bracket for all to see on ESPN.com. I am torn as to whether he should put much of his time into following college basketball when the country is at such an economic breakdown, but its good to know that he is just following America in decreasing productivity during March Madness. Anyways, let's dig a little deeper into Mr. President's picks.
Theme 1: Barack Obama hates the Pac-10. With 6 Pac-10 teams in the tournament (UW, UCLA, ASU, UA, CAL, and USC), Obama decided only one was worthy of a second round game. This means that both ASU and UCLA will be upset. Sure they have a long flight, but I think its highly unlikely that both...or either, will be bounced after the first round. He said UA squeaked in (well said) and will lose to Utah. Cal and USC he just thinks will lose. His only Pac-10 winner will be Washington, who will go on to lose to Purdue in the second round. The Pac-10 might not be the strongest conference there is, but come on...1-5 in the first round and 1-6 overall? I don't think so.
Theme 2: Playing favorites. Only 5 upsets in the first round (2 from the Pac-10). Talk about a boring March Madness when there are only 5 first round upsets. He predicts there will be 2 2nd round upsets (Purdue over Washington and Florida State over Xavier). The only upset predicted in the Sweet 16 is Cuse over Oklahoma. Memphis over Uconn in the Elite 8 is his last upset of the tournament. 33% of the teams being upset are from you guessed it...the Pac-10.
Theme 3: East Coast Bias...Big East Coat bias. The Big East will go 7-0 in the first round, 5-2 in the second round, 4-1 in the Sweet 16, 2-2 in the Elite 8, and 1-1 in the Final Four. This means the Big East will go 19-7 overall. If that happens, I'll be impressed.
Theme 3.5: The ACC/East Coast Bias continued. The ACC is going to win all their first round games. 7-0. They don't fare as well as the Big East in the second round going just 4-3. 2-2 in the Sweet 16, 1-1 in the Elite 8, 1-0 in the Final Four, and 1-0 in the Championship game. 16-6 overall as a conference. Not as good as the Big East, but decent compared to the Big Ten and Pac-10.
Theme 4: Out of the 32 first round winners, just 8 are located West of the Mississippi River. Which 8? Missouri, Kansas, Washington, Gonzaga, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and BYU. This could be because only 26 out of the previous 70 champions were located West of the big river (11 of those are UCLA).
Theme 5: The media is spending way too much time covering Obama's picks. I have tests and papers to write, and here I am giving a geography lesson based on the President's thoughts.
Happy Madness everyone, it's officially my favorite time of the year.
P.S. For those with Iphones or Ipod touches, you can buy an App for 4.99 that will stream video to your ipod of live games... all you need is wi-fi connection. Talk about a good way to watch games while at work.
WARNING: I take no liability if you are fired for watching basketball at work. In no way am I recommending this.