Shanoff's WUC: Obama Bracket, Tebow Pro Day

Today's Calls: Barack Obama vs. the Final Four, Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. Duke, Tim Tebow vs. pro day, Tiger Woods vs. Augusta National, Suns vs. 152 points, Angels fans vs. Snuggies, Natalie Gulbis vs. Lane Kiffin and More. ↵

↵Barack ObamaThe Opening Pitch: Yes we can ... doubt Duke. ↵

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↵Barack Obama's complete NCAA Tournament picks will be released at noon, but the leaked details show the same pragmatism that led him to a successful bracket run a year ago. ↵

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↵Obama's 2010 Final Four: ↵
↵*Kansas ↵
↵*Kentucky ↵
↵*Kansas State ↵
↵*Villanova ↵

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↵Picking Kansas and Kentucky shows the same sensible notion of taking the strongest team in the field that led to Obama picking UNC as champ a year ago. Anchored by that, Obama's bracket out-performed 80 percent of the country. ↵

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↵But his choices this year also reflect the same pragmatism that has defined his presidency: ↵

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↵By selecting K-State, Obama buys into the doubts that top-seeded Syracuse can make a four-game run through the West with injured center Arinze Onuaku (already announced to be missing the opening weekend's games). ↵

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↵And by picking 'Nova to win the South, Obama affirms what the rest of us were already saying: That despite a gift-wrapped path to the Final Four, Duke will find a way to underachieve, as has been their M.O. most of the decade. ↵

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↵Does seeing Obama's Final Four make you want to adopt his picks — or run the other direction? In such a polarized political climate, we can hopefully find bi-partisan support that picking against Duke is good for all Americans. ↵

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↵Play-In Game: Watch out, Duke! Arkansas-Pine Bluff dispatches Winthrop, ensuring that it finishes the NCAA Tournament with more wins than 32 other teams. APB's brutal non-conference schedule (incl. K-State, UTEP, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Michigan, Oregon) contributed to an 0-11 start but also toughened the team — and prepared it as well as a 64th-seeded team can be for Duke. (Won't help, but at least APB won't be intimidated.) ↵

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↵Tim Tebow's Pro Day: I have jokingly been saying 10,000 people will be there. Now it turns out that is the number university folks think will show up. Everything else about Tebow's NFL draft lead-up has been superlative; why not this as the most well-attended individual player's Pro Day in the history of the NFL. (In anticipation of fan interest, Florida is opening the stadium concession stands, for gosh sakes.) ↵

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↵What to expect? Mike Florio tells you what to watch for, but I think the conditions are controlled enough — and Tebow's current stock with scouts is low enough — that he will emerge with a new "Looks better!" meme, complete with a "rising" tag on mock draft boards. ↵

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↵(For those of you annoyed by the attention given to Tebow, who may be no more important than a high second-round pick at best, Florida's pro day features Joe Haden, the draft's top-rated cornerback who had a slow combine. He needs to improve on his 4.6 in the friendlier confines of Gainesville; a Top 10 draft position is at stake.) ↵

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↵NIT Madness: No. 1-seed shocker! Top-seeded Arizona State loses to No. 8-seed Jacksonville in Tempe on a buzzer-beating 3. Your NIT bracket is already busted ... More: Playing for pride, UNC dispatches Dance-wannabe William and Mary; N.C. State upends South Florida. ↵

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↵Tiger at The Masters: Most-watched golf event ever? How about biggest circus? Augusta National will regret the attention being taken from the event itself. Other golfers will resent it. And golf media will gripe about it — but they ignore the fact this is a much bigger non-sports story than sports story. ↵

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↵NBA Talking Points: Ho-hum, another triple-double for LeBron. (Meanwhile, the Suns put up 152 on the T-wolves in Phoenix, the most points scored by any NBA team this season. Yowza.) ↵

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↵MLB Spring Training: Is it any coincidence that the day SN runs its Angels preview — and they will be in a fight with the Mariners this year for the AL West — that the team announced that they are going to try to break the world record for most people wearing Snuggies (OK, so they say "fleece blankets," probably for legal reasons), a record recently attained by the Cleveland Cavaliers and their fans? ↵

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↵You can already see that the crowd-wearing-Snuggie thing is going to become a huge game of "Can-You-Top-This?", only ending when the Cowboys decide to cram 100,000+ people into Snuggies in their stadium. (That is: Until Tennessee Volunteers fans decide to amp it to 110K ... Do you see how this becomes an arms race — WITHOUT SLEEVES?! ↵

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↵NFL Offseason: LaDainian introduces himself to NYC: "At this point, it's all about winning a championship." If everyone stays healthy, the Jets can be in a position to get him one. ↵

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↵Great Read: Again, if you haven't seen TSB's "Better Know a Bracket" from Levy and Hutchins, it is one of the best ways to spend an hour this morning. Incredible stuff — now featuring all four regions. ↵

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↵The Last Word: So how is Lane Kiffin beating me in sexiest woman alive on Esquire.com? Really? This cannot be good." — @natalie_gulbis ↵ ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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