COLUMBUS, Ohio — N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried has embraced all the extra attention that has come with the Wolfpack's first NCAA tournament appearance in six years.
Well, almost all of it. After President Barack Obama put the Wolfpack in the round of 16 in his bracket picks for ESPN, Gottfried sent a text to his former ESPN colleague, Andy Katz.
"The President's trying to win votes, I'm trying to get wins," Gottfried said he wrote in the text message to Katz. "It's a little different."
Obama's tournament picks have been an annual staple for ESPN but these are the first in an election year, as Gottfried alluded to. The President picked the Tar Heels to win it all this season, as he did when they won it all in 2009.
Obama picked the 11th-seeded Wolfpack to knock off San Diego State and third-seeded Georgetown to get back to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005. He has Kansas knocking out N.C. State and then UNC beating Kansas to get to the Final Four.
Obama attended the First Four games in Dayton, Ohio on Tuesday and is an avid basketball fan. His brother-in-law, Craig Robinson, is the head coach at Oregon State.
"We respect his opinion but we understand this game will be decided once the ball goes in the air," Gottfried said.