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. Laverne

    @ Karen: Stop being so silly. He is concentrating on the numerous items he has inherited and furthermore, CNN chose to make this a story. The man can still enjoy basketball and be a human can't he, or is that just for the Bush's?

    March 18, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. Jeff

    Here's that hard hitting main stream media coverage of President Obama just like during the election. Boy if G.W. Bush had this type of coverage he would be rated as the best president ever.

    March 18, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  3. B Rock

    Still Time For Sports – Remember, all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.....Barack needs an outlet to clear his head.

    March 18, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. Tannim

    To the whiners, lighten up.

    The man is a hoops fan. Just like a lot of the rest of us.

    And for us hoops fans, March is the best month of the year!

    So pass the popcorn and enjoy the best college basketball you're gonna find anywhere–158 games over the next 4 weeks.

    March 18, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. BarryO

    Working hard, I see. Unbelievable.

    March 18, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Bob T

    He also picked Emanuel,Gibbs, Geithner and Biden. Good luck on his picks here.

    March 18, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. jimmy-ohio

    it is obvious that the president's detractors will never be happy about anything,,,"he's doing too much,,,he's not doing enough,,,why isn't he working?" President Bush broke the record for time on vacation during his FIRST term,,let alone hissecond,,,the guy is working on our nations problems but like all humans he needs a little down timw,,,how many of you work 24 hours a day seven days a week?,,,answer is none of you

    March 18, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. Robin

    Welcome to the "Smoke and Mirror" show.

    Nothing like outrage over bonuses he was aware of and basketball to keep his sheeple distracted from the real issues at hand.

    March 18, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. mike

    people he's a regular first !!!!!

    cut him some slack !!!!

    March 18, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. Alexis

    My Goodness... can't the man enjoy a little levity during his day? Quit whining... I personally am happy that President Obama can enjoy a few moments to do something he enjoys. All work and no play makes for a lousy life... no matter who you are.

    March 18, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  11. Susan in SC

    You people are just silly! Do you expect him to work 24/7/52? Is the man not allowed anything beyond the oval office?

    The President, like many, many Americans, has an interest in basketball.... Many, many like my husband and my boss. My husband works 65 hours a week (with NO overtime) and my boss does about the same. Yet each of them is allowed to have an interest in and enjoy the college playoffs.

    Do we want a President who will burn out in 6 months, or do we want a President who is in for the long haul? ALL humans need down time to recover and refresh. You are just silly if you expect less of President Obama.

    March 18, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. Me

    Spare me.

    The Office of the President is supposed to be dignified, solemn, and important. Instead we have a guy walking around pointing at people all the time like he's a rock star, rolling his sleeves up in the Oval Office (which a banker wouldn't be caught dead doing in their office), going on Leno like he's promoting a movie, and making NCAA basketball picks.

    You're supposed to be the President, not a celebrity. Act like one.

    March 18, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. J.- Michigan

    Well, looks like he's going to have his NCAA pool ruined right from the start, since he didn't pick Michigan State, which will be in the FINAL FOUR right here in Detroit! Final four will be Michigan State, Oklahoma, Villanova, and Memphis. The #1 seeds this year are completely overrated, especially Louisville. They're just not that good, and the Big East is overrated as well.

    March 18, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |

    Everything mentioned on the ticker does not have to be fire and brimstone. This is simply a light hearted moment. Take it for what it is...

    March 18, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. RO

    Oh come on,,,, it probably took just few minutes of his vaulable time.. yes, I would like to see him be light hearted in a time like this. Sheesh! Get on with it folks! Even in dark times, you need to stop and smell the flowers... and embrace what you do have. Thank goodness for sports! It does take your mind off of things !

    March 18, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  16. Slowgun

    Memphis was in the finals last year...what happen to all this talk about change...UConn all the way!

    March 18, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  17. Tee

    On behalf of all of the Memphis fans, thank you for believing in us Mr. President!!!!

    Go Tigers!!!!!

    March 18, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  18. Truth Oriented

    It is very important for every American to balance their life with light issues to complement their heavy work schedules and avoid burn out. What would you rather have, a president taking 10 minutes filling out his basketball picks or a president taking much more time in a shrinks office?

    March 18, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  19. RealityKing

    Anything that helps take his mind off this economic mess America has sunken deeper into since his election..

    March 18, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  20. meh

    Some of you need to get the sticks out of your butts and join the rest of us in the 21st century. The president doesn't have to be a stuffed shirt. And frankly, I LIKE reading light news every once in a while?
    Why does it have to be all gloom and doom?
    People *do* have other interests, even when they have the weight of the world on their backs right now!

    March 18, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  21. Charlotte from Charlotte

    Go North Carolina!!! W00-H00!!!

    March 18, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  22. K. Freeman

    Just goes to show you that he CAN deal with the economic crisis, close guantanamo, fight wars, meet with world leaders, and watch the NCAA's. I'm proud that a OUR president can multitask. Go Louisville and go President Obama!

    March 18, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. Linda from Prescott AZ

    I am still amazed at the hatefulness on these blogs.

    The President is doing a good job, he has his head screwed on right and he has a right to a bit of levity.

    Give the guy a break.

    March 18, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  24. Jon

    To those of you who say he's concentrating on sports instead of his job, I take that to mean that all of you work 24/7 and NEVER take any time to watch sports or have down time. Seriously, are you being that hypocritical? It is foolish to believe that the POTUS must always be engaged in "serious stuff." All of us require down time, or else we would go batty. That is especially true of the President.

    March 18, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  25. The Dude

    All of you complaining, saying that he should be focused on his job – it's just that, a job. He has time for recreation, too. Don't tell me all of you are focused on YOUR jobs 24/7.

    March 18, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7