Obama likes outlook for Duke and UNC

President Obama correctly picked North Carolina to win the national championship in 2009, and like most college basketball observers, he thinks the Tar Heels will do well again this season.

But Obama was very much politically correct in discussing the state's college basketball teams toward the end of a sit-down interview with WXII-TV's Cameron Kent, deftly injecting Duke into the conversation and mentioning that he likes the Blue Devils as well.

"Tar Heel fans want to know if you are going to pick them in 2012 all the way," Kent said. "Wake Forest fans want to know if you have any eligibility left."

Obama, who knows North Carolina is a swing state for his campaign in 2012, laughed and made sure to inject Duke into the conversation as well.

"Wake Forest has gone through a tough time, but I'm sure they'll come back," he said. "Right now, it looks like both Duke and Carolina are going to have a great team.

"I'm going to have to look at 'em a little more carefully during the preseason -- during the early-season tournaments -- before I actually make my picks, but those two teams are going to be in the top 10 I suspect."

There are a few things to draw from this. Given a chance to joke about Wake Forest, Obama instead gave a vote of confidence and in turn might have earned a vote from Jeff Bzdelik. Obama also likes the preseason buzz generated by North Carolina and Duke. Also, no love for NC State?

And to all the fans who don't pay much attention to college basketball until conference play rolls around in late December and January, know that the president even watches the early-season tournaments so that he can fill out the best bracket he can come March.

So get excited for the start of college basketball. President Obama is already thinking about it, too.