WASHINGTON — And now for something completely different.
President Obama correctly picked North Carolina to win the NCAA men’s basketball tournament last year, though Tubby Smith will no doubt be hoping the president is somewhat less clairvoyant after his first full year in office.
Obama’s NCAA men’s bracket was released today and the president picked the Minnesota Golden Gophers to lose to Xavier in the first round of the tournament. His champion this time around? The top-ranked Kansas Jayhawks, whom Obama predicts will oust Kentucky in the championship game.
Obama took a light ribbing last year for seeming to favor schools from swing states, though his Final Four this year features three schools from decidedly red states (Kansas, Kentucky, Kansas State) and just one from a purple state (Villanova, in Pennsylvania).
For the record, this reporter has somewhat more faith in the Gophers (having watched them live at the Barn earlier this year when they almost beat my alma mater, Michigan State). I’ve got Tubby’s team advancing past Xavier, but losing to Pittsburgh in the second round.