March 18th, 2009
12:58 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama's Final Four picks revealed


The White House posted Obama's bracket online Wednesday. (

(CNN) - President Obama's NCAA Men's basketball Final Four picks, unveiled Wednesday, reveals the nation's first hoops fan picked Big East powerhouses Louisville and Pittsburgh, along with Memphis and the University of North Carolina.

In all, the president is taking few risks when it comes to his Final Four teams: Louisville, Pittsburgh, and North Carolina are all No. 1 seeds, while Memphis is seeded No. 2.

But the picks are sure to anger the state of Connecticut, whose Huskies are the only No. 1 seed Obama doesn't have going to the final four.

The president is also not picking an upset many observers have predicted - he has No. 12 Arizona falling to No. 5 Utah in the first round.

Watch: Basketball legends critique Obama's skills on the court

But the decision has nothing to do with the fact Obama battled a senator from Arizona for the presidency last year, he assured ESPN.

"It has nothing to do with McCain - I think Arizona is a great state: I love playing golf there. But hey just squeaked in based on reputation," Obama said.

UPDATE: ESPN has released Obama's full bracket

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. Mine is better than the Pres

    I think I made better picks for the NCAA, you're going down Pres

    March 18, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Mr. President, Duke will be in the Final Four.

    Cameron Crazies

    March 18, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. This is a joke right....

    Glad he is focused on the tough issues we face today!

    March 18, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. jeff

    WHO CARES what his picks are.
    He is going on Jay Leno.
    What is he the president or a celebrity
    Sorry he is now the odds maker on the latest sports station

    March 18, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. Jeff in Houston

    It never ceases to amaze me how something this meaningless captivates America. Talk about messed up values?

    March 18, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. phoenix86

    Another day in the White House for President Nero.

    March 18, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  7. Jaiskrilla

    I'm still trying to figure out how UConn got a #1 seed

    March 18, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  8. Whitey from DC

    Hey I'ma Duke fan too. I think we're in the final four.

    March 18, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. obama-mama

    This is a joke right...Lighten up....A little laughter goes a long way

    March 18, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. Drone

    PO should thro a final4 party at the WH... To all you haters that say he needs to be focusing on the economy, instead of Bball right now...he IS focused on the economy, but give em a break Geeez, let the man be a man and watch his sports every once in a while.

    you sound like a bunch of nagging house wives, nagging their husbands on game day...

    March 18, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  11. martin

    you know – this president says there's no time to waste, and we have to do everything at once, which means spending lots of money on everything. It seems he has tons of time to keep track of all the teams on the NCAA roster.

    March 18, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. mUj

    You got that Arizona right, they're just riding Lute's legacy to the tournament.

    March 18, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. A New Era

    It's good to see that the President has a human side. He's the "People's President."

    March 18, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  14. Sportsman

    Whoever voices negative opinions about this story is still bitter. Our president is a real and very talented man.

    March 18, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  15. What's Important

    What's important? Why is this newsworthy? Who cares who Obama has picked in his final four? I am out of a job. It is obvious that Obama is more interested in his basketball picks and in appearing on Leno as if he were campaigning for reelection. This guy is a joke and I would prefer that he get to work and focus on fixing the economy and creating jobs then on who wins a stupid and unimportant basketball game when compared to the problems that so many Americans have right now.

    March 18, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. Johnny Drama

    "But they just squeaked in based on reputation," Obama said

    Could not have said it better myself. Arizona will fail to show up like always.

    March 18, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  17. catherine

    hey jeff having an interest in basket ball isn't meaningless - people have all kinds of interests – sports, theatre, etc.; life is meant to be fun

    March 18, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. Mari

    Here we have some "lighter" news! Thank God! There is SO much gloom-and-doom........... that this is refreshing!

    One thing we, Americans, must remember is that we have been through tough times before!

    I know that the "scared" people are mostly the 20-30-something crowd who are just now experiencing the first economic downturn of their adult lives. To the scared people I say: Fear is not from God, fear paralyzes you, fear adds nothing to your life!

    Thanks for the article CNN.

    March 18, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Shooky

    I am surprised he could come up with enough picks to fill his bracket, we've all seen he can't pick a full staff.

    Plus, way to go out on a limb there, Obama, three #1's and a #2.

    March 18, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  20. Karen

    He SHOULD be focused on the many tough issues we face. Basketball picks are not news.
    This is not dress rehersal Mr. President – you are the man. Let's get something going on jobs (real jobs) and the economy.

    March 18, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  21. still time for sports

    I'm an Obama supporter, but I'm pissed that he is talking about sports at a time like this.

    March 18, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  22. Travis In Colorado

    Great, Washington, D.C. is burning, Caeser is asking Brutus, "Et tu, Brutus?" and President Smoke and Mirrors here is talking about the NCAA Final Four. This is just another distraction from Obama, another typical day in the life of our president who campaigned on so much change that we changed right back to the Clinton Administration. I guess thinking about the Final Four and tracing your ancestors back to Ireland is more important than doing what you said you were going to do, right? Looks that way. McCain is looking better and better all the time.

    March 18, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  23. give me a break

    this is not about policy or values or focus or even time to waste, it is a light hearted moment the president enjoys. This just in–he likes sports–hes human.

    March 18, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  24. He's running the Point

    This man's capacity for work is amazing.

    He works longer and harder than many of his predecessors and still finds time to engage in "common man" pursuits like attending basketball games and filling out the NCAA brackets.

    So much for all those, "he's an elitist" diatribes during the campaign.

    PS: Notice that I didn't slam one predecesor in particular.

    March 18, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  25. Mississippi Mike

    Hey President, how about staffing the Department of the Treasury instead of filling out your basketball brackets and flying to Hollywood to appear on Leno? Out of 18 appointed positions in the DoT you've only filled one and I'd say that Geithner has been a disaster so far. I'm still waiting for the Democrats to say, "Just kidding!" and seat Hillary in the Oval Office.

    I used to respect the Office of the President regardless of who was in the office, but if this is what it has devolved to, I'm not sure I can continue to offer my respect.

    March 18, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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