May 16th, 2011
07:32 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) -They are the reigning champions of men’s college basketball, and their winning ways got the UConn Huskies to the White House Monday for a celebration with President Obama.
But amid the fanfare of the East Room ceremony, Obama couldn’t help but remind the champions of how their victory spoiled his prospects along with those of many other disappointed Americans. “Let’s face it, this was a tough year for a lot of brackets because teams like this one shocked the world,” Obama said. “So next time you guys decide to reel off 11 straight wins, please let me know ahead of time.” Obama had picked the Kansas Jayhawks to take it all.
All kidding aside, Obama marveled at how a young team who finished the regular season tied for ninth place in their league, ended up pulling through and winning a national title.
“And like you, Mr. President, yes, we did. We did because we cared,” Huskies coach Jim Calhoun later quipped making reference to Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan.
Before receiving a team jersey with his name on it, Obama was asked by Coach Calhoun if he would like to play one on one with team star Kemba Walker. “As long as he’s wearing street shoes and a suit,” Obama joked.