Obama's Call to Winning NCAA Coach
By Michael A. Fletcher
As he jetted home last night from an eight-day trip that included stops in Europe, Turkey and Iraq, President Obama placed a phone call to North Carolina men's basketball coach Roy Williams to congratulate him on his team's victory over Michigan State for the NCAA national championship.
Obama had picked North Carolina to win the crown, repeating his prediction from last year, which was foiled when the Tar Heels lost in a national semifinal game. But the team came through for the president this year in Monday night's championship game.
"The President offered Coach Williams his congratulations and thanked him and his team for vindicating him in front of the entire country," Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement. "The president told him he'd done a great job and asked the coach to tell the players how proud he was of them and that he looked forward to seeing them at the White House soon."
Last month, Obama, a serious basketball fan who is said to have a better-than-average game himself, filled out his bracket for the world to see on ESPN. His Final Four were North Carolina, Memphis, Louisville and Pittsburgh. North Carolina was the only one of the four to survive until the tournament's final weekend. But by winning the championship, the Tar Heels catapulted the president to the top tier of ESPN's hardwood prognosticators: the sports network's website reported that the presidential bracket finished in the top 20 percent of the more than million filled out online.
Posted at 5:10 PM ET on Apr 8, 2009
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