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Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Mr. Katz goes to Washington

By Andy Katz



President Barack Obama went chalk, as in Rock Chalk, in his annual presidential picks.

Obama stressed the importance of experience and guard play in selecting Kansas over Kentucky, whom he challenged to play in the championship game when he called them prior to their first loss of the season at South Carolina.

But in a rematch of the 2008 national championship coaches, Obama said, “Self wins again.’’

There were a few interesting picks: Obama was high on Villanova and the Wildcats’ guards by selecting Nova to advance to the Final Four over Duke. He said in jest that he had been “brainwashed” by top personal aide Reggie Love, a former Duke player, and was putting Duke into the Elite Eight. Obama was savvy to Purdue’s Robbie Hummel going down and went chalk with the Siena upset pick.

He didn’t bite on my suggestion that Richmond could go far against Saint Mary’s. I tried to push him to look at Richmond and on his original bracket he did before crossing out the Spiders and replacing them with Saint Mary’s.

He went with Syracuse losing to Kansas State in the Elite Eight. He didn’t misspell Syracuse on his bracket, but had a minor error when writing it on the whiteboard we provided.

Obama said he’s convinced that Kentucky and West Virginia would be the best game of the tournament in the East Elite Eight. He wouldn’t be surprised if Cornell-Wisconsin was one as well. He also went local and was high on Georgetown over Ohio State in the Sweet 16. Obama saw Georgetown at its best when the Hoyas beat Duke in late January.