The HillTube

Obama Final Four picks heavy on swing states

President Obama made his picks for the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament Tuesday, and his Final Four are swing-state heavy.

Obama predicted that North Carolina would edge Kentucky — the overall No. 1 seed — in the tournament's final game, with Ohio State and Missouri also making the Final Four.

ADVERTISEMENT
"I am going with North Carolina getting revenge for the regular season victory," Obama said while making his picks on ESPN. "They are an older team, more of an experienced team. I think Kentucky is unbelievably talented, but I think [guard Kendall] Marshall's play — [forward Tyler] Zeller's play — I see North Carolina winning it all."

Obama selected North Carolina when he first released his bracket in 2009, and was validated when the Tar Heels went on to win the championship. The president has favored Kansas in the past two tournaments, but the Jayhawks have fallen short on each occasion.

During the 2008 presidential election, Obama took time off the campaign trail to work out with the Tar Heels players, and has spoken fondly of coach Roy Williams.



As in previous years, Obama's selections heavily favor states that are likely to be in play during his reelection bid. Missouri, Ohio and North Carolina are all expected to be key battlegrounds in November, and the president will likely need a win in at least one of the states to secure a second term.


The president's upset picks — including wins for fifth-seeded New Mexico and eleventh-seeded North Carolina State — also tended to favor states that could be in play. 

Meanwhile, GOP front-runner Mitt Romney said he wouldn't be filling out a bracket this year.

"I'm not plugged in well enough this year to do that," Romney said Tuesday, according to The Associated Press. 

Obama took British Prime Minister David Cameron to the opening game of the tournament Tuesday night, a thrilling come-from-behind win for Western Kentucky University.

Cameron admitted that he was struggling to understand the intricacies of the game, but said the president would help him with his bracket.

"It's pretty fast and furious," Cameron said during an interview with truTV. "[President Obama] is going to help me fill out my bracket."

Obama went on to say that he thought it was important to bring foreign dignitaries to the Midwest, and said he and Cameron enjoyed meeting University of Dayton students seated in their section at the game.