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Adept NCAA brackets can win you money in an office pool, respect among your friends or…political capital. At least, that’s the thoughts of some observers.

Last year, the candidates for U.S. Senate sniped at each other over their bracket choices. And this year, there’s no shortage of coverage on President Barack Obama’s NCAA picks. Some outlets have questioned the President’s choices (too safe–he has the number one seeds in the final four). Others have dug for political meaning (where does he rank schools from 2012 battleground states?). And other outlets have said there’s too much happening in the world for the President to bother with college basketball (we could say the same about some news outlets).

The best coverage, though, comes from the Awl, which parses Mr. Obama’s choices on politics and stats, then compares his picks to the national averages.

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This is good news for Councilman Dan Johnson and the other Louisvillians trying to bring an NBA team to town.

The Sacramento Kings are no longer ruling out leaving their home city (and the house that Vlade built). A report from the city’s ABC affiliate says the team’s owners “are looking at all options to ensure the long term viability of this franchise.” The quote was in response to rumors that the Kings may move to Anaheim, but Seattle and Louisville are also mentioned as possible relocation spots. Louisville’s ability to attract the Kings is unknown at this point, but when rumors that the team wanted to leave Sacramento first picked up, a Facebook group was established to lobby for the team to comet o Derby City.

The Louisville Metro Council has not yet voted on Insight Communications’s franchise agreement. But Dan Klepal at the Courier-Journal has an interesting story on Insight’s recent offer of luxury suite tickets to Friday’s basketball game in the KFC Yum Center.

Here are a few quotes:

“Whenever I do, that’s my business,” [Councilman Dan] Johnson said, adding that he doesn’t believe the tickets and suite access represent a conflict of interest. “Do you really think we’re going to vote against the Insight contract? I don’t think that’s even a question.”

[edit]

Council President Tom Owen, a Democrat, was not offered tickets and told his colleagues in an e-mail that accepting them would be “unwise” because it would be “impossible to avoid the public perception of inappropriate influence.”

[edit]

“Given the circumstances we’re dealing with … I don’t think it would be wise,” said Democrat David Tandy. “I’ll just watch it on TV.”

Democrat Barbara Shanklin declined, she said, because of the pending vote on the franchise agreement.

[edit]

“Insight routinely entertains business, civic and political leaders,” [Insight spokesperson and former Council Member Ellen] Call said. “There’s really nothing unusual about this — it’s the ordinary course of business.”

 

Louisville’s NBA search is the talk of the town. Attorney Bruce Miller, who is working for the Fair Board to lure a team to Derby City, says there are investors who are interested.

The Courier-Journal says the search could pay off, after great difficulty.

Loueyville wants a vote and a hockey team (what’s hockey?)

Calapari likes it. Pitino doesn’t.

My colleague Graham Shelby sent me some information on NBA relocations gone wrong in Seattle and Memphis.

And here is a page remembering Louisville’s ABA team, the Kentucky Colonels.

In my conversation with Bruce Miller, he hypothesized than a Kentucky-branded NBA team would help steer attention away from the UK/U of L rivalry, which he called destructive.

The Cardinals face the Wildcats Saturday at Rupp Arena. If you heard the preview on WFPL, you heard Mark Bacon say the Cardinals will have a tough job defensively against UK. We interviewed Bacon for the story because he co-hosts Nothing But Net. We’ve posted about it before, but we’ll link again, in case anyone wondered why a voice from WFPK was in the news.

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