Look, I'm a basketball fan. It is hard to grow up in North Carolina and not be. Indiana may get the Basketball State distinction, but that's high school basketball. So I say Indiana Schmindiana. I'm talking about college basketball. And North Carolina is the home of college basketball (in my opinion).
The fact that I'm a fan, then, may have been lost during last year's NCAA tournament, but I was much more involved in the presidential tournament that coincided with the Big Dance. This is true every four years, but 2008 was unusual. Typically the presidential candidates take care of their party business and clear out in time for the basketball start. But not in 2008. No, the top two seeds in the Democratic bracket had to extend their contest until June. And even though there weren't any contests after March 11 (or before April 22 for that matter), the battle was still on. Who can forget Obama's "bittergate" injury or his association with the now infamous agent, Jeremiah Wright, which jeopardized his amateur status?
[Note to self: No more bad jokes linking politics and basketball.]
Well, maybe just one more.
Seeding above is a bit post hoc, but I had to weigh the difference between issue/longshot candidates and when each candidate dropped out. There is no perfect formula. However, this is my opinion of where everyone would have been slotted. And as is the case with the NCAA Selection Committee, the FHQ Committee of One is second-guessed to no avail (...or those watching usually forget about the selection process and get wrapped up in the tournament process once it begins).
Just for fun, I'll try and put up a prospective 2012 bracket at some point in the next couple of days.
The Obama Basketball Bracket
FiveThirtyEight's Swing State Bias Analysis of the Obama Bracket and [UPDATE] Nate Silver's overall projections as well.
Now, let the real upsets begin.
Election 2012: Obama 55 - Palin 35
Now Why Didn't They Just Do This Last Week?
The Links (3/18/09): ANES Edition