Anyone who reads this blog with any regularity has probably figured out I would write about the North Carolina Tar Heels visiting the White House yesterday.
Everyone who follows March Madnes(and many that don’t) knows that the President picked UNC to win it all. Jeff Zelney writes in the New York Times
“Congratulations on bringing Carolina its fifth national championship,” Mr. Obama said. “And, more importantly, thanks for salvaging my bracket and vindicating me before the entire nation. That first round was rough on me.”
As he stood on the South Portico of the White House, Mr. Obama played host to yet another group of collegiate champions. But this meeting was far more personal than previous teams that have visited the White House this year, largely because of Mr. Obama’s affinity to the Tar Heels and the amount of time he invested in North Carolina, where he won the statewide primary and general elections.
“Now, I did have a chance to play ball with this crew just over a year ago when I visited Chapel Hill. And I’m not sure whose luck rubbed off on who,” Mr. Obama said. “I think there was just a good vibe going on there, because they’re now national champions and I’m now president.”
A year ago, as his presidential campaign was beset with controversy over the incendiary comments of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Mr. Obama arrived on the Chapel Hill campus for an early-morning game of hoops and a tour of the Tar Heels’ locker room. (Mr. Obama followed tradition and stepped around the school logo in the center of the floor, a zone of respect where footsteps are not allowed.)
“When we played, everybody went out of their way to pass me the ball, set screens for me, let me take a shot,” the president said, recalling that 7 a.m. pickup game on April 29, 2008. “Tyler chose not to block my shot – of course, I was so intimidated by him being near me that I missed it.”
According to Politico , where you can also see video,
Obama — wearing a shade close to Tarheel blue — recounted a story about playing hoops with the team a year ago when he was a presidential candidate.
“There was a good vibe going on there because they’re now national champions and I’m president,” he said, teasing one player Jack Wooten for blocking his shot and fouling him during the game.
Obama joked that everyone at the White House was excited about the team’s visit “except my assistant Reggie Love,” who played basketball for Duke. The president congratulated the team and coach Roy Williams for “great character.”
Congratulations, Tar Heels.