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Obama's NCAA Picks Ruffled Some Feathers

By Garance Franke-Ruta
Before today's dustup over bowling, President Obama got into one over his NCAA picks, proving that sports talk may not be the safest ground for a president looking to lighten the mood during grim economic times.

Earlier this week, Duke basketball coach Mike "Coach K" Krzyzewski was none too pleased to see the leader of the free world pick his team's arch-rival, the Tar Heels, as the likely winner of the March Madness basketball tournament -- while his team was left off even the Final Four of the presidential NCAA bracket.

"As much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets," he sniped to the Associated Press.

That led to Obama's first sports-related back-and-forth of the week, as he was asked about Coach K's jibe during a call to the Ed Schultz radio show.

"Coach K, I think, is a great coach. And you know, Reggie Love, my assistant, played for Coach K. And so it's not surprising. I didn't pick him to go to the finals. Look he's a competitive guy, I just don't think they've got the inside game to go all the way. But I look forward to him proving me wrong," the president said.

Posted at 7:14 PM ET on Mar 20, 2009  | Category:  Barack Obama
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