The Wizard of March Madness

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President Obama has weighed in on his selections for the men’s NCAA basketball championship, picking North Carolina to beat Louisville. He apparently did a fairly decent job analyzing other teams playing in this tournament. I would feel more comfortable if he – and members of congress – would confine himself to making such selections – and, perhaps, picking Oscar winners – rather than trying to do the impossible and hubristic task of running a national economic system.

Perhaps the logic of what Obama and his assorted wizards are doing in the economic realm could be applied to the NCAA tournament. A “bailout” designed to uplift the fortunes of teams with losing records might improve the quality of college basketball and make for an interesting tournament. There are a lot of winning programs with great players – North Carolina and Louisville being among them. What if, consistent with the thinking now at work within the D.C. beltway, these better players were to be redistributed to the losing teams? We might then see the president on TV predicting the outcome of a national championship game with New Jersey Tech (with a 1-30 record)
playing Southeast Missouri State (with a 2-27 record). Appropriately enough, the game is already scheduled to be played in Detroit. If this were an NCAA national championship football game, it could be called the “Rust Bowl,” with General Motors sponsoring the telecast! How symbolic of what America has become.

2:01 pm on March 19, 2009