The nation has, simply, fallen in love with the Michigan State University Spartans, the No. 4 seed in the 2014 NCAA March Madness Men’s Basketball Tournament.
“Tom Izzo is a great tournament coach,” Obama said. “I’ve got Michigan state going all the way.”
The commander in chief also picked defending champion Louisville, No. 1 overall seed Florida and top seed Arizona to reach the Final Four in Arlington, TX.
“I know these are not imaginative picks, but I think they’re the right ones,” he said during the event that has come to be known as “Barack-etology” – something he’s done for the past six years with ESPN’s Andy Katz. ESPN also picks the Spartans.
It's fair, isn't it, for Spartans fans to hope some international crisis doesn’t stop the president from throwing the full support of the White House Thursday when the Spartans take on No. 13 Delaware at 4 p.m. EDT? (The game will be carried live on TNT.)
You don’t trust the president?
Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer loves Michigan State, picking the Spartans to defeat Arizona 68-63 in the championship game.
Paul Myerberg of USA TODAY Sports says the Spartans are the sleepers who’ll bring home the crown.
And so it goes.
Sports Illustrated loves the Spartans enough to pick them for one of six regional covers, the Detroit Free Press reports. But the magazine’s sports writers aren’t quite as bullish on the Spartans as the president.
The Spartans will make it to the Final Four, SI says, then lose in the semi-finals to Florida, the eventual champion over Wichita State.
University of Michigan fans, are you feeling unloved? A No. 2 seed means the Wolverines aren’t exactly chopped liver, but they’ll have to improve their defense or go home early, Coach John Beilein said.
The Wolverines open tournament play against 15th-seeded Wofford Thursday at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Tip-off time is at 7:10 p.m. EDT. The game will be broadcast on TNT.
DISCUSS: Let's talk March Madness. Who's going to win? Tell us your picks in the comments below.