According to ESPN, President Obama has Kentucky, Ohio State, Missouri, and UNC as his Final Four picks for this years NCAA tournament. They’ll air the interview that has all of the details of his bracket choices on SportsCenter tomorrow. For the last two years, he picked Kansas to win it all, and they let him down. In 2009, he picked UNC, and we won the championship.
Obviously, he should pick UNC as the NCAA Championship winner. Not just because we’re awesome, but because it will help him politically. Let me break it down for you:
- North Carolina has 15 electoral votes
- North Carolina is a swing state
- In 2008, Obama won North Carolina by 0.32%, or 13,993 votes.
- The staff and students of UNC are all likely to vote in this year’s election, and there are 41,442 of them.
- Not to mention all of the alumni, and general Tar Heels fans.
While McCain won Missouri by only 0.15%, Obama shouldn’t blow his bracket trying to curry favor with them because a) they have fewer electoral votes than North Carolina (only 11), and b) they don’t care about basketball like voters in North Carolina do.
There is no chance of Obama winning Kentucky in the election, so obviously he shouldn’t pick them.
The only other vaguely reasonably pick from a political standpoint would be Ohio State. Ohio is a swing state with 20 electoral votes, and Obama only won it by 4.59% (258,897 votes) in 2008. Now, OSU only has 92,661 students and staff, but they have a lot of statewide support. Again though, Ohio State is more of a football school, and they’re less likely to remember Obama picking them as NCAA basketball champs.
TL;DR Obama should pick UNC to win the national championship for his bracket because we’re awesome and it will help him win North Carolina in the presidential election.
Update: Obama picks the Swing State University Tarheels to win the 2012 championship!