"Barack"etology – President Obama Picks Kansas to Win His March Madness Bracket


"Great talent, but they've lost their inside presence. They lost, what, a couple of their last four or five games," he said. "So even though if they're at full speed I think they would pull this out and Jimmer would obviously be a great asset in a tight game, I think Florida is going to end up winning this one."

On Ohio State star freshman Jared Sullinger: "Ohio State looks terrific. That young guy in the middle knows how to play," he said.

On Connecticut's Kemba Walker: "The guy plays like a pro already. He's got presence on the court," he said. "It wasn't just his scoring -- he got big rebounds, big steals, made his free throws at the end of tough games."

Obama Picks Against GOP Favorites

With the 2012 presidential election looming on the horizon, some of the president's choices appeared to conflict with the hopes of his GOP counterparts.

Katz pointed out that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is a big Louisville fan, and Obama predicted the Cardinals will lose in the Sweet Sixteen to Kansas.

"[Politics] has nothing to do with it," the president said.

Obama also picked against 6-seed Xavier, the alma mater of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, predicting them suffer and upset in the first round to 11th-seeded Marquette.

Obama's personal love of basketball is well documented, and he frequently plays weekend pick-up games with friends, staff and even his daughters and their friends.

Last year the president needed 12 stitches on his upper lip after he was inadvertently hit while playing basketball with friends and family at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.

For his birthday last year, the president invited an all-star group of athletes to play a pickup game with him, including current and former NBA stars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Derek Fisher, Chris Paul, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Chauncey Billups, Grant Hill, Derrick Rose and Bill Russell.

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