Kasich, a former Ohio congressman, said he discussed shale gas development in Ohio with Obama. "He's concerned about the environment. We can do it where it's environmentally sound, and we can get the jobs," Kasich said.
Some Republicans panned the trip, saying many Americans would prefer Obama to focus on more pressing issues.
"While showing off our amazing college basketball teams is great, many Americans struggling to find jobs, dealing with soaring gas prices, or concerned with our rising deficit and debt would probably like the president spend at least as much time dealing with those issues," said Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee
Basketball has been a big part of Obama's life. At his Hawaii high school, Obama frequently carried a basketball along with his school books and bonded with his teammates on the court. His brother-in-law, Craig Robinson, played college basketball at Princeton and is now head coach at Oregon State.
The president regularly plays pickup basketball and keeps close tabs on his favorite NBA team, the Chicago Bulls. In a recent interview, the president said he gets League Pass on his iPad, letting him watch out-of-market NBA games on his tablet computer.
Obama kicked off the basketball season with a Veterans Day game between Michigan State and North Carolina on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson in November, enjoying a game on the aircraft carrier that took Osama bin Laden's body to a burial at sea after the U.S. raid that killed the al-Qaida leader.
"Part of what makes this wonderful is not only that anybody, at least at the start of the tournament, has a dream about winning it," Obama told Kellogg. "But the way it brings the country together, and families and communities, people rooting for their alma mater."
Follow Ken Thomas on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AP_Ken_Thomas
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.