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

Obama's Final Four picks revealed

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

(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. jb

    Watch out for Michigan State. Go Green!

    March 18, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. Pee Wee

    So, what's the prize if he wins the pool? 410 billion dollars? Another stimulus. Ridiculous.

    March 18, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Kenny

    When everything seems to be going right, the president past decisions, stock market soaring, and the NCAA March madness, then comes few knuckle mouths from Duke playing basket-spoil.
    Dukeys, please stop trying to turn everything around you blue. As a terp, I support any ACC team but not those from NC.
    If you wear blue, just fear the turtle.
    Go MD Terps!

    March 18, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. DannyfromTexas

    To all the Obama critics, please stop acting like yall don't like to have SOME free time and don't start with "If he was a real president, he would be more focused on helping us find jobs." So i guess it's a bad thing for someone that has alot of power to now take a little time off and do what he likes and fill out some NCAA bracketts like the rest of America?? Dang let the man BREATHE for once! He's busting his tail to try and get this economy back together, the LEAST yall can do is give some time to vent and let him have his free time.

    And one thing for Mr. Obama.....I don't got Memphis going past the Sweet 16! Lol

    March 18, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. frustrated

    Forget the Final Four! What about some staff picks so the work of government can be carried on. That's what's wrong with this administration, there's not focus, just folly.

    March 18, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. my comments

    You've got to be kidding, the US is in dire straits and he has time to "fiddle around while Rome burn"

    That's inexperience for you.

    March 18, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. DRock

    Man, he's really hating on the Pac-10 in the bracket. He only has 1 Pac-10 team making it out of round 1.

    March 18, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. Cblue4ever

    While I disagree with Obama on his policies (most of them anyway), I can't beleive anyone is being so petty as to deny the man the chance to fill out a NCAA basketball bracket. Basketball is obviously his favorite sport and this is absolutely THE BEST time of the year for a basketball fan. The man may be the President but he is also still a man and a human being. He has to have a few minutes of enjoyable diversion from the pressure cooker that being President of the States must be. BTW, for such an obviously left leaning liberal, he is very conservative with his choices of winners in the final four. Go Tarheels!!!!!

    March 18, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  9. Robert

    If a "regular" citizen looses a house to the banks,. Why do we(TAX PAYERS) have to bail them out? ?
    Now. We get severely penalized if you don't pay mortgage for a couple of months.
    However. Workers at AIG are that are part of the biggest blue and white collar mess ever! get Millions in BONUS!
    Government demands the money back and AIG says no. Government says Oh! ok we will then wait until you completely disappear all the money the tax payers have had reserve for a future retirement, growth, ect. We are getting robbed with our eyes open and all we do is act outraged?
    How about we demand from our government to react NOW and recuperate all of our money while is still around. 'FREEZE' their accounts just like we "FREEZE" Civilian accounts when they owe money. AIG owes us our money back right now because they have failed on providing proper documentation or presentation on how they plan on getting it back to us. They sit at meetings explaining their rights to our money? How does our government fall in to this and what happened to transparency? But don't get me wrong, President Obama needs to have the time for "Pandora's box" to finish exploding on the last administration little secrets and wrong doings. Trust you me! there is gonna be a lot more to come as government gets swept clean. WE NEED TO ACT NOW PLEASE! or we will never get it back when AIG is gone on bankruptcy.
    By the way....None of the contracts stated anything about the tax payers money bailing out AIG. or did it?

    Money can be replace PEOPLE!! it's the principal of the matter that we should focus.

    March 18, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  10. Lvols

    And what about the women's tournament????

    I guess he's daughters will never play ball

    March 18, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. Derek MacPhail

    My issue isn't the Prez making picks. My issue is that this is somehow newsworthy enough for CNN to bother covering.

    March 18, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. dodie

    who cares? you, media, are so in love with obama. why don't you write about his reckless spending, the fact that they knew about the AIG bonuses before they were sent out, his economic policies receiving failing grades, his incompetent Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, etc.....

    March 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. James

    It is what it is. The releasing of his picks is part of a media relations campaign to convince the people that he is one of us nothing more.
    It is a strategic move and appears to be working.

    March 18, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. GG from Minnesota

    My guess is virtually all the people posting negative comments on this article are supposed to be working.

    March 18, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Olegringo, NM

    I doubt Obama is any better at picking the final four than his nominees for office, but I could be wrong, this may be what he is good at.

    March 18, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Mr.Capano in Delaware

    I like Duke and an empty ice cooler for the brew.

    March 18, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  17. David in Illinois

    To Mari:

    Those of us in our 20's and 30's are actually experiencing our second economic downturn of our adult lives. Remember 01-02? Save it. We will be being the debt for the baby boomers excess and fighting their "war on terror" because of their policies for the rest of our lives.

    P.S. we support the democrats.

    March 18, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. Sue

    GO ILLINI!!!

    March 18, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Many American men and women, husbands, wives and children, enjoy sports as much as President Obama and they too take out time to do just that instead of taking out the trash.

    March 18, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. Fed Up

    Obama's Top 4
    Pick #1. Teleprompter. Don't speak without it.
    Pick #2. Fill my cabinet with tax cheats
    Pick #3. Put the country in huge amounts of debt for years to come
    Pick #4. Tell the country this is change they can believe in

    March 18, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  21. I'm an American

    it amuses me how IGNORANT some people are. President Obama is a regular person like you and I. HE has a job just like everyone else, give him a break. HE IS PRESIDENT. GET OVER IT! Most people who are saying negative things can't get over the fact that he is our president. It's sad that as americans we are BASHING the man who's trying to help us in during these TRYING times. It's this what you're teaching your children...ALL WORK AND NO PLAY. I agree it probably took him less than 15 minutes to say this. Would it help if they say President Obama said this while walking his DOG, or while playing with his children! What do you expect, he's a HUMAN!!!!!! and lets support our president.

    March 18, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  22. Robin in SC

    So nice to have a Prez who is a "real person" and is actually in touch with what's going on in the daily lives of Americans. Seeing that he actually picks the brackets for his favorite sport and also seeing him drinking a beer at a Wizards/Bulls game just make him more "real" than any president in my lifetime. Much better than GWB "dancing" in the Congo or wherever he was...

    March 18, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. Terry, TX

    Who Cares! The country is in a mess ....and he will be on Jay Leno.
    I just heard him as he took off to California...he still thinks he's on the campaign trail. Anyone hear Pelosi ...again talking to illegal aliens...calling our "immigration policies as un-american".

    March 18, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. Chiedu Nweke

    I call him BHO meaning Barack Hussien Obama. Since his election, President BHO has captivated both America and the world. In no time everything will have the signature of BHO. There is little doubt that BHO has become the best American export to the world.

    March 18, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. Mikki, Washington, DC

    Is there anything that President Obama says that is not reported? I believe that it is great that we have a president who is not afraid to let people know that he actually enjoys life but the media's fascination with all of his utterances is a little crazy!!

    March 18, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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