March 20th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama picks North Carolina to go all the way


Obama's March Madness bracket, provided by the Obama campaign.

(CNN) – When running for president, every decision is a political one - even March Madness picks.

According to the Obama campaign, the Illinois senator's final four picks include North Carolina, Kansas, Pittsburgh, and UCLA.

Political observers will immediately note two of the four teams are from states which hold crucial primary contests in the coming weeks - Pennsylvania on April 22, and North Carolina just two weeks later.

As for the final game, Obama is betting North Carolina defeats UCLA, a pick that's sure to go over well with undecided voters in the Tar Heel State. But in an interview with the Charlotte Observer, the Illinois senator suggested he's not basing his bracket on political calculations.

"Well, I have to say, [North Carolina forward Tyler] Hansbrough's looking tough," Obama said. "That's a big boy, there. So I've got to fill it out, I've got to do a little bracketology before I make a final decision."

Obama isn’t the only presidential candidate willing to make his picks public this year. John McCain’s presidential campaign Web site now includes a section where you can fill out your brackets for the NCAA tournament and compare them to his. The campaign is expected to post the senator's choices later Thursday.

UPDATE: McCain is also predicting North Carolina will finish first, beating Connecticut – a No. 4 seed – in the final game. Kansas and Memphis round out his final four.

In some first round upsets, McCain has picked Georgia over Xavier and Villanova over Clemson. McCain’s picks were posted on his Web site Thursday afternoon.

McCain’s tournament picks were more conservative last year, when he had all No. 1 seeds making it to the final four.

– CNN's Mike Roselli , Alex Mooney and Kristi Keck

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. jp/michigan

    I hear John Edwards is a big North Carolina fan. Guess what Obama's up to now! Little slight of underhandedness!

    March 20, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. Casey from Canada

    Happy Now, America? The Media what a great job you have done and in a few years you wonder why your country is going down the drain. Why the rest of the world hate you.

    The Answers are right with you? You glorify perverts, adore controversy, love distortion, reward hypocrisy, accept shallow ideas and opinions.. the list goes on and on.

    Someone gave you a deep thoughtful and remarkable speech that is been revered, treasured and reviewed around the world and all you guys rant about is why did He listen and allow his kids listen to Rev. Wright., why he didn’t disown him.

    Yet you wonder why Bill Gates goes to India to look for intelligent workers and your Pentagon awards your mighty defense contract to France ... you morons.

    Listen, you guys are lossing you stance in the world... The world is smarter not to follow the lead of fools.

    March 20, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Darth Vadik, CA






    March 20, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. Bantou

    You gotta like a presidential candidate that's in touch with the country's fervor of the moment, and March Madness is the current national fervor. Any words on Hillary's bracket picks ?

    March 20, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. herbert

    For me in Kenya,it dont really matter who wins between clinton and Obama,all what am sure and excited about is that they aint gonna be no republican in the white house for 4 good years !

    March 20, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. Eric

    I'm not surprised at all that he picked PA and NC sports teams to win March Madness. He and his campaign will stop at nothing to win this nomination. Shameful!

    March 20, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. mary

    Wow Casey good stuff.. I agree with you

    March 20, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Michael from Montreal, Canada

    Casey, HEAR... HEAR!!!! You hit the nail right on the head. Seems to me like everyone forgot the the "Economy" is the number one issue but noe one seems to care that a MAJOR contract, GOVERNMENT CONTRACT, went to a company overseas. Lets see if the media talks about that, I bet they won't. Economy is not the number one issue.... Controversy IS!

    March 20, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. Campos from Texas

    Obama picks North Carolina and himself to win it all! More proof that Senator Obama can mix it up with the average Joe. I haven't changed my vote – it's for Obama!!!

    March 20, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |

    I'm sitting back and waiting to see how CNN (the official site of the Obama headquarters) is going to handle the headlines when Obama flounders.

    If anyone is really interested in non-biased pro-Obama reporting, go to Politico, ABC, and even MSNBC where there are articles on
    the minister’s controversial history has been written about countless times throughout the campaign. Wright has ties to the Rev. Louis Farrakhan, the black supremacist leader of the Nation of Islam — a fact that has been noted in more than 100 news stories just in the past few months, according to the Nexis database of news coverage which all have ties to a 20 year relationship with Obama. Then add Rezko into the mix.

    Will CNN ever report this, debate this, or question this? NO. They will probably never post this and keep it in "moderation" limbo or just press the delete button.

    March 20, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. Lucas, Nashville TN

    I'm picking NC, too...


    Get to those polls, NC!

    March 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.