The 2015 NCAA men’s basketball tournament is nearly upon us, and even the president of the United States isn’t immune to the appeal of March Madness. Barack Obama joined ESPN’s “SportsCenter” Wednesday to unveil his tournament bracket for the sixth straight year.
The commander in chief predicts the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats and Villanova Wildcats will compete in the championship game, with Kentucky emerging victorious. He has Kentucky beating Arizona and Villanova beating Duke in the Final Four. He picked Kentucky, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Arizona, Villanova, Virginia, Duke and Iowa State to advance to the Elite Eight.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 18, 2015
Obama’s comments on “SportsCenter” weren’t limited to tournament picks. The president also has some ideas on some rule changes that would improve NCAA basketball.
"I am an advocate, by the way, for the NCAA changing the rules in terms of shortening the shot clock, widening the lane, moving the three-point line back a little bit,'' Obama said on ESPN. "The fact of the matter is I like how basketball is going in the NBA because it's fluid. What (Spurs coach) Gregg Popovich did with San Antonio, I think, is being replicated now with Atlanta and Golden State, and you're seeing a lot of teams move in that direction. I'd like to see college basketball get back to that. It's a fast game, let's get it down to 30 seconds at minimum."
Obama is looking to bounce back this year after a so-so showing with his picks for last year’s tournament, when the POTUS predicted that Michigan State University, a No. 4 seed, would defeat the University of Louisville, also a No. 4 seed, in the national championship. Neither of those schools advanced past the tournament’s Elite Eight, but Obama did correctly predict that the University of Florida, a No. 1 seed, would advance to the Final Four.