WASHINGTON D.C. -- He nailed Jay Wright, labeling the Villanova head coach the "George Clooney of college basketball." He accurately noted that Josh Hart is a graduate of the same Sidwell Friends School that his own daughter is about to leave. He hit Kris Jenkins up with a "Big Smoove" and referred to Daniel Ochefu by his proper nickname, "Chef."
The only stumbling block for President Barack Obama came on the vowel-filled, multi-syllabic mouthful that is the last name of the Wildcats' four-year captain. At the White House reception for national champion Villanova, Obama put the emphasis on the wrong syllable for Ryan Arcidiacono -- going with Ryan Arch-e-dee-uh-co-no instead of Arch-e-dee-ack-a-no.
"Now, I just sped through that in case I didn't say it right," Obama said. "Barack Obama is tough, but Arcidiacono, man, that’s a lot of vowels, so we're just going to call him Arch."
Arcidiacono didn't seem to mind the blunder. Asked about the mistake, he smiled.
"It's not every day the President of the United States mispronounces your name," he said.
It's not everyday, of course, that you get to visit the White House, either, and both Wright and his players were admittedly awestruck by the experience.
"This is big time," Wright said, wide-eyed.
After stopping at Due South, a restaurant owned by a Villanova alum, the team received a 45-minute private tour and spent time meeting with the president individually.
The only problem? Ochefu failed to get his desired selfie with Obama.
"I was too worried about the Secret Service," he said, before the team moved into a packed East Room for the formal reception.
Saying the championship game "might be the best title game of all time," Obama recounted the tying 3-pointer made by North Carolina's Marcus Paige -- "an unbelievable double-clutch circus shot," he called it.
"A lot of teams would have had their spirit broken," Obama continued. "The Wildcats, they took control. They responded. And on a play called Nova, Kris took a pass from Arch and pulled up a few steps behind the line and shot his team into basketball lore."
The team then presented the 44th President of the United States with a Villanova No. 44 jersey to go with an earlier gift, a framed photograph of the president taking a jump shot mirroring Jenkins' game-winner.
"We respect him as a leader and as a man, but also as a baller," Wright said.