Chancellor Harden ‘critical’ of President Obama selection

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Chancellor Thomas K. Harden announced today, semi-seriously, that he opposes the decision by U.S. President Barack Obama to “endorse” the Iowa State Cyclones as favorites in Saturday’s big women’s basketball game vs. the UW-Green Bay Phoenix.

The President picked the No. 10 seed Cyclones (18-12) to beat No. 7 seed Green Bay (30-1) in the two teams’ NCAA Tournament opener at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. Tipoff is 5:30 p.m. CDT

President Obama has made it an annual tradition to appear on ESPN to reveal his NCAA predictions. (Click here)

“I don’t begrudge him his opinion,” Harden said by phone Friday morning, tongue in cheek, en route to the game.”Making incorrect NCAA predictions is as American as bratwurst and cheddar cheese.

“I only want to note that in forecasting the opening round, the President looked at those 32 games and 31 times he very conservatively picked the higher-seeded team to advance. In only one game did he go with the lower seed, and he picked Green Bay to lose.”

Harden, of course, will be in the stands on Saturday night expecting a strong showing from UW-Green Bay. He concedes the Cyclones will present a tough challenge, especially on their home floor, but he is predicting a Phoenix win.

The Chancellor said he respects the Office of the President, as well as President Obama’s basketball acumen as a former player and current coach of daughters Sasha and Malia, but for this game, the national intelligence advice must have been faulty.

“This is a really good Phoenix women’s team, and we’re exceptionally proud of them,” Harden says. “Plus, you don’t pick against the “Green” team on St. Patrick’s Day. Go Phoenix!”