President Barack Obama on Tuesday unveiled his picks to reach the Final Four in the NCAA basketball tournament. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the president’s picks have a “distinctly swing state flavor” to them in this election year.
Obama predicted that the semi-finals will include Kentucky, Ohio State, Missouri and North Carolina--states that may very well become battlegrounds in the November election. According to 270towin.com, a website focused on maintaining an interactive 2012 Electoral College map, three of these states, Ohio, Missouri and North Carolina, are currently undecided, while Kentucky is leaning Republican in the presidential election.
Obama’s picks have another striking similarity. North Carolina and Kentucky are both top seeds in their respective divisions, and Ohio and Missouri are number two seeds. In other words, Obama seems to be playing it safe with his choices.
Obama unveiled his full tournament bracket on Wednesday. Obama's campaign website is currently sponsoring a bracket challenge where supporters are able to make their own tournament predictions in comparison to Obama's choices.
Obama is also sharing his love of the game in the name of foreign relations. On Tuesday, Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron attended a "First Four" matchup in Dayton, Ohio, between Mississippi Valley State and Western Kentucky.
In sharp contrast to Obama's bracket challenge and Final Four picks is Mitt Romney's refusal to participate in the March Madness festivities. Tuesday Romney told reporters that we was "not plugged in well enough this year to do that." Clearly his plate is full with an extended Republican primary.