Obama sees a favorite taking Final Four

For two years of NCAA tournament madness, it's been a recurrent theme: But how is the President doing? Last year, President Obama's bracket was pretty impressive, but this year, Obama is just like the rest of us: busted. The hoops fan-in-chief didn't nail a single Final Four team. (Thank you, West Virginia, for making me feel smarter about college basketball than the President. That was a close one.) Obama had Kansas, Georgetown, Kentucky and Villanova in his Final Four, and went with Kansas vs. Kentucky in his final game. Whoops.

So you can forgive Obama if he'd rather not talk about college basketball right now, especially near the end of a wide-ranging Today Show sit down that marked the first one-one-one interview with the President since he signed the historic health care bill. But Matt Lauer isn't just a nice-looking morning show host. He's a journalist, and he wants answers to the most difficult questions of our time. To wit:

Finally, Lauer asked the president about his NCAA Tournament brackets, which he had picked live on ESPN two weeks ago. For a time, Obama’s picks were leading the nation, but since then, every one of his Final Four teams has been knocked out of the competition. Lauer asked who he likes among the survivors — Duke, West Virginia, Michigan State and Butler.

“I’m not going to pick now,” Obama said.

“You have to pick now,” Lauer told him.

After some more back-and-forth, Obama finally relented.

“I think the winner of West Virginia-Duke will end up winning the championship,” he said.

For the sake of the favorites, let's hope the President is a little better at picking the winner of the Final Four than he was its participants. Otherwise, we could be looking at a Butler national championship, which, come to think of it, would be a nice little consensus solution to the problem of our country's vacant national championship slot. What's more bipartisan than an underdog?