Politics

Bill Ritter struck by March Madness, calls out Obama for not supporting... Gonzaga?

With March Madness getting underway in earnest today (we don't count the play-in game), plenty of politicos are displaying hometown or home-state pride by touting the chances of local teams.

That's not really an option this year for Governor Bill Ritter -- but rather than being left out, he's issued a press release chiding amateur bracketologist President Barack Obama for picking Gonzaga to lose in the first round. Yes, Gonzaga -- located in Spokane, Washington.

Ritter's 'Zags love has to do with the fact that one of his sons goes there and a key player, Matt Bouldin, attended ThunderRidge High School. That's how desperate things have gotten for Colorado hoops fans. See the wacky release below:

GOV. RITTER DISAGREES WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA

Gov. Bill Ritter announced his strong disagreement and deep disappointment with President Obama today, saying the President has made a fundamental March Madness mistake on his NCAA bracket picks.

"While I have been a staunch supporter of our country's President, today I am saddened to say we no longer see eye to eye -- at least not on his decision to pick Florida State over Gonzaga in the first round of the tournament," Gov. Ritter said. "The fact is Gonzaga has been ranked a top 15 team most of the season and will be a very dangerous eight seed for any team to face in the tournament."

The Governor urged the President to call for a Congressional investigation into the extremely low seeding. The Governor also issued his own Executive Order creating a Bill Ritter Blue Ribbon Panel to examine where the selection committee went wrong. Partially explaining Gov. Ritter's allegiance to Gonzaga, one of the Governor's sons attends the university, located in Spokane, Wash.

The Governor cited Gonzaga's renewed emphasis on defense this year and the stellar play of Colorado's own Matt Bouldin. "Gonzaga is led this year by one of the best basketball players our state has produced in a long, long time," Gov. Ritter said. "His pass-first mentality and leadership abilities have Gonzaga looking to make a deep run in this year's tournament."

Bouldin attended ThunderRidge High School, where he was named the Colorado State Player of the year as a junior and senior. As a senior at Gonzaga, Bouldin was named to the John R. Wooden All-American Team and is a finalist for the Lowe's Senior Class Award.

The Gonzaga basketball team is playing the first game of the second session on Friday at 5:10 p.m. MST in the NCAA First Round at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, N.Y.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts