March Madness at the White House: President Obama’s “Very Conservative” NCAA Bracket

By Kristina

Mar 16, 2011 1:51pm

ABC News’ Karen Travers reports:

Today on Top Line, we checked in with ESPN’s Andy Katz, who was at the White House yesterday as President Obama unveiled his NCAA Tournament picks.

Katz said that Obama’s bracket, with all #1 seeds in the Final Four, is “very conservative believe it or not.” 


“There were no Belmont picks, there were no Woffords,” Katz said of some potential lower seeded teams that Obama could have picked as upset winners. “Nothing sort of crazy. It was all very conservative if you will.”

 But Katz said that Obama acknowledged that this was not necessarily his ideal bracket, he just wasn’t sure how some of the top teams would lose.

“The way the bracket was put together it's kind of hard to project the number of teams to advance far,” he said. “Now maybe we'll all be wrong. But he even said to me, I look for Pittsburgh to get knocked off in the Southeast, I just did not see a team that could do it.”

Katz said Obama dismissed any talk of bipartisan outreach when it came to his tournament picks.

House Speaker John Boehner is a Xavier alum and Obama has them out in the first round. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is a Louisville fan and Obama has them advancing only to the Sweet Sixteen.

“A Lot of people are willing to think that because he is a senator for Kentucky that he backs Kentucky,” Katz said of McConnell. “He's actually a big Louisville guy but [Obama] quickly dismissed me when I was saying was there any trying to be sort of bipartisanship on this by advancing Louisville a couple rounds. No, had nothing to do with it he told me.”

You can watch the full segment with Andy Katz HERE.


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