In the festive yet competitive spirit of March Madness, we’re tracking how both President Obama and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) do with their respective NCAA tournament brackets. Using a standard, graduated scoring system — 1-2-4-8-16-32 by round — here’s how they stack up going into Thursday’s first batch of Sweet Sixteen games.
2. President Obama: 41 Points
The first round was hit-and-miss for the president. He got key wins in the South and East regions, while the West region hurt him in the way that it hurt most national brackets. Early losses by Wisconsin and New Mexico, coupled with Gonzaga laying an egg against Wichita State, leaves only Ohio State from that quadrant, though Obama is fortunate to have the Buckeyes reaching the Final Four.
All told, with seven of his Elite Eight picks still alive, Obama still has plenty of opportunities to increase his lead going forward. Wins by Ohio State, Indiana, and Miami on Thursday night will get his weekend selections off to a roaring start.
5. Sen. Rubio: 34 Points
The junior senator from Florida actually held a 20-19 lead over the president after the opening round was done, but the best thing you can say about Rubio’s bracket now is that three of his Final Four picks are still alive. It was a rough Saturday and Sunday.
The Obama-Rubio winner, at this point, could actually decided on Thursday night. If fourth-seeded Syracuse could somehow beat No. 1 Indiana, that will bust Obama’s bracket. But what we’re most excited about looking forward is the tantalizing prospect of a Final Four showdown between Florida (Rubio’s champ) and Indiana (Obama’s). Here’s hoping the Gators and Hoosiers make it to Atlanta so we can finally decide once and for all which political party is superior.