Vice president Joe Biden was front and center at NRG Stadium Saturday night as he cheered on his alma mater, Syracuse, complimented the North Carolina cheerleaders for their athletic prowess, and said he would be rooting for Villanova in Monday night's championship game because it's his wife's alma mater.
“If I don’t, I’ll sleep alone," he told USA Today.
Villanova routed Oklahoma 95-51 in the first semi-final game of the Final Four while North Carolina raced past Syracuse 83-66 in the second semi-final. The men's basketball champion will be crowned Monday night before a national television audience.
After the game, Biden visited the Syracuse locker room where he praised the team for their unlikely run to the Final Four. "Those Syracuse kids are a helluva bunch of kids," he told reporters afterwards.
Biden graduated from Syracuse College of Law in 1968; Jill Biden received one of two master's degree from Villanova in 1987. She attended the game with her husband.
On his way out of the stadium, Biden spent about 10 minutes talking with the North Carolina cheerleaders.“Those kids are athletes. That’s what I was telling them," Biden said. “It’s one thing to dunk it. It’s another thing to be 12 feet off the floor and being flipped."
While in Houston, the Bidens also promoted the It's On Us campaign to stop sexual assaults on college campuses.
Also seen in the large crowd, former president George H.W. Bush, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and singer Kendrick Lamar, who later performed before a large audience at the March Madness Music Festival at Discovery Green.
UPDATE: CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler learned where the Bidens went for Sunday brunch. Here's the story.