March 18, 2011
STORRS, Conn. – President Obama has selected the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team to win its third-straight Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, as announced by the White House on Friday.
The President successfully picked three of last year’s Final Four participants. Below are selected quotes from ESPN’s “Barack-etology” where Doris Burke joined the President in the Oval Office to fill out a bracket.
How confident did President Obama appear with his Final Four picks?
Doris Burke: “President Obama was very confident as he selected all four number one seeds – Baylor, Connecticut, Stanford and Tennessee. The way the season played out – it made obvious sense that the President leaned that way. He again picked UConn to repeat – based off his impressions of Maya Moore as person and basketball player, and her leadership abilities to guide the Huskies.”
On picking the team to advance from the Philadelphia Region:
President Obama: “I have to go with Connecticut. Not only do they have just an unbelievable tradition of winning, they’ve got the best player in the country.”
On Maya Moore:
President Obama: “For my birthday I had a little all-star game here, and we had Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony and just a whole slew of all-stars.
“And Maya, because I’d gotten to know her when she came here, was on the court. She lit the guys up, and was playing hard and they were playing hard. She picked Dwyane Wade -- sorry, Dwyane, but I've got to report on this -- I mean, she picked him clean on one play. So she can hang with the best players in the world and she’s a winner.”
On the potential Connecticut-Tennessee semifinal matchup:
President Obama: “I've still got to go to Connecticut. I just think that when you’ve got the top player in the game in a close matchup and somebody who’s a veteran, who’s won the tournament before, they’re not going to get as nervous. They’re going to make the plays down the stretch.”
On Knoxville’s reaction:
President Obama: “I love Pat Summitt. I'm very impressed with her and – all those years that they were winning championships I was a huge fan.”
On the potential Baylor-Connecticut matchup in the championship game – Moore vs. Griner/ Auriemma vs. Mulkey:
President Obama: “I think that Maya is going to be hitting her jumper, she’s going to be making rebounds, she’s going to be making plays -- I think Connecticut wins it again.”