President Obama is riding with the Hoosiers.
As has become his annual tradition, the self-proclaimed basketball junkie made his bracket picks public, and he’s taking the Hoosiers to win it all. (He must follow me on twitter. I should drop some hints about how to reduce the budget deficit.)
This may actually be a curse for Indiana, as Obama hasn’t correctly picked the tournament champion since 2009, when North Carolina won it all. He even missed on Kentucky last season.
The rest of the Commander-in-Chief’s Final Four looks like this: Ohio State in the West, Louisville in the Midwest and Florida in the South. DC’s about as liberal as it gets, but I’m not sure how the city will feel about him picking against the hometown Hoyas.
On the women’s side, Obama selected Baylor, California, UConn and Notre Dame to advance to New Orleans. Baylor, UConn and Notre Dame are all No. 1 seeds and California is a No. 2 seed. (View the full tournament here.)
At the end of the day, I’m not too concerned about the accuracy of Obama’s picks.
He should be spending his time monitoring the escalating situation with a nuclear North Korea instead of easing the tensions between John Calipari and Tom Crean.
His full bracket can be seen below:
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.
The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.
It wasn’t pretty.
And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.
Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.
The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.
But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.
Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: