“Senator Obama claims to be a big basketball fan,” she said, referring to the release of Obama’s NCAA picks just as the tournament began. “But even he,” she said amidst cheers from her supporters, “could not see that Davidson would beat Wisconsin!”
Some commentators have suggested that Sen. Clinton’s prediction that West Virginia would beat Duke in the second round might cost her supporters in North Carolina, whose Democratic primary is May 6. “An endorsement of Duke is not an endorsement of the great state of North Carolina,” she said. New Jersey’s primary was held on February 5.
Sen. Clinton’s bracket beats out Barack Obama’s in the early rounds, too, where she predicted the first-round upsets in Tampa. “I champion the underdog,” she said. “I know how hard it is to make a living in these economic times.”
Asked about her mistaken prediction that St. Joseph’s would upset higher ranked Oklahoma, Sen. Clinton said, “I was given false information about the point guard by the [St. Joe’s] administration.”
Sen. Obama has received some criticism for his picks, with sports talk radio hosts claiming that his choice of Pitt to beat Stanford to go to the Final Four was politically motivated. Asked whether her own decision to take Pitt all the way to the championship game was similarly driven by politics, Mrs. Clinton responded, “I understand the drive and determination of the people of Pennsylvania.”
In her speech, Sen. Clinton also argued for a new moniker for regional semi-finals. “The Elite Eight is not a viable name in these political times,” she said. “Republicans love to joke about the liberal elite,” she said. “When I am president, that round will be renamed The Superdeleg Eight.”