The Presidential Bracket: Obama fails me for the first time in office

March 18, 2009

As you are all too aware by now, we here at Too Old love sports.  For me in particular, it doesn’t get any better than the NCAA tournament.  I prefer college sports, and nothing is more exciting than watching a full field of 65 slowly pare it’s way down to one over a grueling 3-week period.  Steve detailed how we get down while enjoying March Madness, so I won’t repeat.  I’m here today to discuss the process of filling in the bracket.  It just wouldn’t quite be “the big dance” unless there was some form of betting involved, and I love it.  Of course, I haven’t won a pool since Connecticut beat Georgia Tech in the finals of the 2004 tournament.  I accurately predicted the final four, the finals, and the champion that year, making my tournament pool victory fairly simple.  I had watched those two teams play at the beginning of the season (in the preseason NIT) and was convinced that those they both had the goods.

This year, I’m not so sure.  As I struggle to finalize my bracket before tomorrow’s games, I find myself consulting online sources to see how others view the assorted match-ups that are giving me some trouble.  So what did I discover on the homepage of espn.com right now?  Of course, our new president, Barack Obama, has filled out his own bracket for our perusal.

At first glance, I thought he and I might be on the same wave-length, as a number of our picks towards the latter half of the tournament are the same.  However, I discovered a disturbing trend that I felt obligated to share with you (WARNING: this information may be deeply upsetting to some of you).

1. Obama isn’t much for the upsets – he has chosen a TOTAL of 8 matchups in which he feels lower seeds will defeat higher seeds.  That is 8 out of a possible 63 games.  For a basis of comparison, last year there were 12 upsets (and that, in the first time in the history of the tournament that all four “one seeds” advanced to the final four).  Seems more likely that things will shake down a bit differently this year.

2. Obama hate black coaches – I know, it took me a second to come to grips with this myself, but lets look at the numbers.  Of the 8 upsets that he chose,3 of them are picks for lower seeds to defeat higher seeded teams who have black coaches (Syracuse over Oklahoma, Purdue over Washington, and Butler over LSU).

3. (this one hurts the most) Obama HATES the Pac 10 – I guess I shouldn’t be overly suprised here, as most non-west coasters hate on our conference.  However, the NCAA committee seemed to think we had the goods to get 6 teams in, and while the seeding for a couple of teams was a bit suspect, we stil made the field.  Mr. President, however, only has ONE (yeah, one of 6) advancing past the opening round (Washington, who he has losing to higher seeded Purdue).  That’s right, of the 8 total upsets predicted, Obama believe half of those games will be losses for the PAC 10.

I’m too upset right now to pontificate any further on the subject.  Mr. President, this is one of those rare times in which I sincerely hope you are dead wrong.  I guess we’ll find out ina couple of days.  Happy bracketing everyone!

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