Governor Pawlenty released his NCAA picks today and there's two things we learned.
1) He likes the chalk. He has three number 1 seeds in his Final Four (Kansas, Duke and Kentucky) and a number 7 seed (BYU) instead of number 1 seed Syracuse (my alma mater). In other words, he's playing it safe.
2) He's a homer. Pawlenty picked the University of Minnesota to get to the Sweet 16.
Several folks on Twitter also pointed out something interesting. Governor Pawlenty, who is ramping up a run for president, gave a little love to the first caucus state when he picked Northern Iowa to beat UNLV (not a big stretch).
That got me thinking how Pawlenty's picks play politically.
Northern Iowa is a key pick because it's the only school representing a state that plays an early part in the 2012 nomination. Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina aren't dancing this year.
But the tea leaves show he may be watching 2012 politics at least a little bit...
The governor picked Michigan St., Ohio St., Florida St., Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Missouri. All of those schools are in key presidential battleground states. The only picks that go against the battleground grain are Florida (who ended up losing today to BYU) and Ohio (he's picking Georgetown).
Pawlenty also didn't pick any teams from the Big East to make the Final Four. Another signal that a 2012 GOP hopeful is writing off the east?
Am I missing anything?
I think you are thinking about this too far.
If not, then clearly Obama does not like Minnesota.