Coach K v. President Obama
March Madness is in full swing now, with the real deal NCAA Tournament getting underway yesterday. This means that me and you, your mama and your cousins, too all filled out brackets trying to predict the winner of the most games, thereby proving our supremacy at hoops prognostication. There are certainly bragging rights at stake and there’s probably a sum of money waiting for you if you’re the winner. It’s one of the reasons why the country embraces this time of year, if not for the thrill of seeing young men lay it all on the line in an effort to call themselves champions.
As I stated earlier, we’ve all filled out a bracket. If you’re like me, you filled out multiple brackets, using different strategies in each. This is not news. However, when the leader of the free world does so, it becomes a pretty big deal. The four-letter network was able to get President Obama to tell us how he thinks the Tournament will shake out, and he did it on a big board with a marker. (You can watch that here, if you’ve somehow managed not to see it already.) He gives quite a bit of love to the Big East and the ACC, just like most rational people have, putting nine teams from those two conferences in the Sweet Sixteen and six into the Elite Eight.
What’s made news is that President Obama didn’t put Duke into the Final Four. They made it to his Elite Eight, which is farther than the team has made it in recent years, but which isn’t far enough, apparently. When informed of this, Coach Krzyzewski had this to say:
There was a bit of a smile on Coach K’s face when he said that, if you notice, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking that there’s some sort of hidden agenda or angst behind his owrds. It may have been a bit below the belt, as Obama has taken some flack for not having the economy already turned around, but it’s all in good fun, probably. And if it isn’t, it should be. After all, lots of people dislike Duke and given the team’s recent NCAA Tournament struggles, it should be a bit difficult for anyone to send them to Detroit. I personally think they’ll have trouble with Texas and Villanova, but I haven’t ruled out that they’ll make it through those games.
So everyone calm down, don’t think that there’s that much disrespect in those words. Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel also said something similar, if less specific, about the president’s slight of his team. I suppose it doesn’t make news though, because Oklahoma, as a state anyway, sucks and this website couldn’t manage to spell "Barack" correctly. I’m just happy that there’s a guy in the White House who likes hoops as much as I do.
Your thoughts, as always, are welcomed in the comments section.