The Daily Eastern News

March Madness players are like US presidents

Jackson Bayer, Columnist

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March Madness is in full swing, and college basketball’s biggest stars are all making names for themselves on the sport’s biggest stage. While none of the players in the tournament are professionals yet (because God forbid they see any of the money the NCAA makes off of the tournament), experts and fans alike can’t help but compare their favorite players to current and former NBA greats. That’s not what I’m doing here.

What I am doing here is something even more exciting: comparing March Madness’ biggest stars to U.S. presidents. You know, basketball players and presidents have more in common than you might think—they’re all winners (basketball games and elections), they all have lots of fans and they also have people they don’t know saying bad things about them on social media. So, which presidents come to mind when thinking about this year’s crop of tournament stars? Let’s find out.

Duke forward Zion Williamson is the most talked-about player in college basketball, possibly ever (Jimmer Fredette may have something to say about that). He’s going to be the number one pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, and he’ll be deemed the savior of whichever team he goes to. Zion represents hope. You know who else represented hope? That’s right—Barack Obama. How will we remember Zion if his career plays out like Obama’s presidency? I won’t answer that question.

If Zion and his ridiculously large muscles didn’t exist, Murray State guard Ja Morant would be far and away the most exciting player in college basketball. He’s young, polished beyond his years, and this March, he was eliminated far too soon, with his team unable to make it to the tourney’s second weekend. Morant is reminiscent of JFK, the young, charismatic president who tragically didn’t get the opportunity to serve a second term.

After the tournament’s first round, the darling of the dance had to be Wofford and their sharpshooting guard Fletcher Magee. Magee, who holds the NCAA record for most three-pointers made in a career, is characterized by his quick-trigger shooting release. President Donald Trump can also be defined by his quick-trigger Twitter activity, firing off insults on Democrats, SNL and fake news just as Magee fires up catch-and-shoot threes off of down screens.

At 7 feet 6 inches, UCF center Tacko Fall is the tallest player in this year’s tournament. We could take this comparison in multiple directions. We could compare him to Abraham Lincoln, who stood 6 feet 4 inches as the tallest president in our country’s history, or we could draw a comparison to William Howard Taft, the heaviest president in our country’s history, for whom a new, spacious bathtub was installed in the White House during his term.

Purdue guard Carsen Edwards is a pure scorer; he dropped 42 points on Villanova in the second round and is known to never pass up a shot opportunity. Edwards’ presidential comparison is another man who always shot his shot, so to speak: Bill Clinton. Need I say more?

Jackson Bayer is a senior creative writing major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]

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March Madness players are like US presidents