Tuesday, May 12, 2009

LEADER OF FREE WORLD HONORS 2009 NCAA DIVISION 1 MEN’S BASKETBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

A pickup game of basketball last spring brought good luck for one basketball team and to presidential candidate Barack Obama, the president said Monday as he welcomed the 2009 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Champion University of North Carolina Tar Heels to the White House.

(For the record, Duke, N.C. State, Maryland, Virginia, Florida State, Duke, Wake Forest, Boston College, Virginia, Duke, Georgia Tech, Duke, Virginia, Duke, Virginia Tech, Duke, Duke, Miami, Clemson, Duke, Virginia, Duke were not invited. We aren’t sure why – oh, that’s right, they aren’t the 2009 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Champions!)

“I’m not sure whose luck rubbed off on who,” Obama said Monday as he greeted the team on the White House’s South Lawn. “I think there was just a good vibe going on there.”

Obama said almost everyone was excited to have the Tar Heels stop by. The one exception, he said, was his personal aide Reggie Love, who won a title as a player for UNC’s chief rival, Duke (who, coincidentally was not invited – see above.)

Obama picked North Carolina to win the national championship this year. He thanked them “for salvaging my bracket and vindicating me before the entire nation.” The president’s other picks for the NCAA tournament’s Final Four never made it that far.

Obama praised coach Roy Williams for instilling “the importance of academics into all these guys, which is why they didn’t just plow through the tournament field; they also had the highest graduation rate of anybody in the Final Four.”


(Bottom photo: University of North Carolina men's basketball head coach Roy Williams (L) present U.S. President Barack Obama with a team jersey at the White House May 11, 2009 in Washington, DC. The North Carolina Tar Heels are the 2009 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I national champions. A basketball fan, Obama picked the Tar Heels to win in his March Madness bracket. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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