As I mentioned a few times this morning, President Obama’s NCAA Tournament bracket was unveiled today.
If you haven’t yet seen it, here it is, followed by a few quick reasons why Obama’s picks and strategy are worth considering (independent of whatever unspoken political objectives they surely serve).
Click image to enlarge.
Naturally, Obama is being criticized, as any President would, for taking time away from more pressing matters to worry about college hoops. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether he should or should not complete a bracket and whether any national TV network should give him an annual platform to do so.
This is a sports blog, not a politics blog, so those questions aren’t really our concern.
The reason why I have posted about the President’s bracket is because a) people care – it’s the most famous single NCAA Tournament bracket out there, all things considered; and b) the President’s chalky pick strategy may not be much fun or all that interesting, but it sure has proven successful.
Remember, last year the President nailed 29 out of 32 first round games. Obviously his bracket fell apart a bit once it got to the Final Four, but whose didn’t with one of the First Four teams (VCU), a Horizon League team (Butler), and a 9th-place regular season finisher in its conference (UCONN) all getting there.
Remember, as I told you Monday, the last two Final Fours, which have featured seven non-#1 seeds, have been extreme outliers within the context of NCAA Tournament history. Of course you should pick a lower seed if you feel strongly about them, or if you have a personal attachment to them (like I do with IU, hence this), but for the most part you should pick the favorites…just as President Obama has done above. Neither President Obama nor anyone else who predicts like this will ever get the “perfect bracket” because we know crazy upsets will happen; but trying to predict where those upsets will happen is usually a fool’s errand.
The point is this: if your #1 goal in whatever NCAA Tournament pools you’re entering is to win, you increase your chances by going mostly chalk and being very, very selective about where you choose lower seeds to beat higher seeds, especially before the Elite 8 and Sweet 16 rounds; and once you get there, definitely go with the better seeds in matchups where there is a large seed disparity, because those rounds are where Cinderellas, for the most part, go to die.
So mock and criticize the President all you want for his picks, along partisan and/or non-partisan lines; and accuse him of making certain picks for political reasons, which he surely does; but just remember that actual final bracket is a pretty good guide for putting the odds for victory in your favor.
And for that Mr. President, I salute you. Now give me some dap.