Obama lauds Duke, bemoans his NCAA picks

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President Obama’s never going to hear the end of Duke winning the 2010 NCAA tournament. That’s what happens when your personal aide played for Coach K.

The president feted the Blue Devils in their White House visit Thursday, lauding their teamwork and their memorable championship game win against Butler. (Full video here)

And when seniors Jon Scheyer, Lance Thomas and Brian Zoubek presented him with an “Obama” Duke jersey, the first fan immediately thought of his aide, Reggie Love.

“You know Reggie’s going to make me hang this in the Oval office,” Obama said. “We’ll take down Lincoln or something.”

Not that Love, who played with the 2001 Duke title team, got off easy. Obama joked that Mike Krzyzewski always wanted Love to rebound and play defense – and don’t shoot. During White House pick-up games, Obama tells him the same thing.

Then again, he closed with his Love quip. He opened with a little deprecating humor.

“I know that all of you remember last year when I filled out my bracket I picked North Carolina to win it all,” a smiling Obama said. “It wasn’t anything personal. Just trying to win some money. I was right. Coach K wasn’t too happy. He basically told me to stick it. Or stick to my day job, is what he said.”

And next year, don’t be surprised if he tabs Duke to win it all. Between the Devils’ likely No. 1 status and Love’s influence, it wouldn’t be a shock.

“I suspect that you’re going to try to bust my bracket once again,” Obama said. “But I may not make the same mistake twice.”

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.