President Obama is a rather chalky fellow when it comes to his brackets. In his men’s and women’s brackets, combined, he only chose three teams that were 12 seeds or lower to win in the first round: the Richmond men, the Bowling Green women and the Princeton women.
He was right on the Richmond men. He was wrong on the Bowling Green women, but the fifth seed they lose to — Georgia Tech — bowed out one round later.
That means there’s only one team seeded fifth or higher still playing whom Obama picked against in the first round. That would be the Georgetown women. And after two wins by a combined 38 points, they still haven’t forgotten. It started before the Hoyas even played their first tournament game, via Gene Wang:
Players have been talking about that slight since the First Fan unveiled his official bracket. Not that the Hoyas needed additional incentive entering the tournament, but a presidential snub actually may serve them well.
“The Barack one is like the motivation,” Sugar Rodgers said, only partly in jest. “We talk about it like every day.”
And it continued into Tuesday, when the Hoyas smashed Maryland in the tournament’s’ second round. After the game, Tracee Hamilton reported that Georgetown’s Monica McNutt mentioned the Obama slight, and Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy cited Obama’s picks during her post-game press conference. Here's her response, when asked whether the win over Maryland was a statement game.
“We aren’t supposed to say that it is, but it is. My young ladies work extremely hard. It’s very disappointing when I know how hard they work for people to come in and say we can’t win. For President Obama to say that we can’t beat Princeton, Kara Lawson to say we can’t beat Maryland, and people to doubt us it gives us a reason to prove our doubters wrong. It goes back to what we always tell our players, believe in God and believe in ourselves and everything else will follow.
I haven’t seen McNutt’s exact Obama quote, but she had some strong words of her own on the transcript.
“For some reason, we keep hearing people don’t believe in us and weren’t taking us seriously,” she said. “Absolutely, we had a little chip on our shoulders. We had something to prove.”
That’s what you get for doubting the Hoyas, Mr. President.