So I’m sitting in my office today and a woman in our marketing department comes in to see me and says, “are you doing an NCAA office tourney pool this year?” Apparently, I have been pigeon-holed as ‘the office sports guy’ and the expectations fall squarely on my shoulder now every year to set this up. I’ve pretty much set this up for the past 7-8 years and I’ve noticed with each passing year, it becomes less and less interesting. The office tournament pool has all types of characters. Here are just a few:
(1) The “I’m entering two brackets this year, one for me and one for my dog” guy (or girl). Yes, this happened to me today. In an effort to protect this dog’s identity, lets just say his name is “Fido”. Well apparently Fido has experience entering these pools, and usually picks a team like the Gonzaga Bulldogs to win it all….go figure.
(2) The “I had that upset in my bracket!” guy. Congratulations pal. You had a 12 beating 5. That’s only happened every year for like 20 years. Take your 1 bracket point for guessing they would get to the round of 32 and get out of my office.
(3) The ACC guy. Every office East of the Mississippi has the die hard ACC hoops guy. Not only will he pick Duke and UNC every single year for the Final Four, but lately he has become so delusional he picks every ACC team to advance at least two rounds in his bracket. Try explaining to this person how good Arizona or Kansas are this year and they look at you like those teams play in a YMCA intramural league.
(4) The cliche guy who fakes knowing more than he does. “I’m telling you man, they are well coached, they have good guard play. That’s important come tournament time” Let me guess, their “leading scorer is a stud” or if they have multiple white players, they are a “high basketball IQ” team. “Tournament experience” is another one I just love. Watch out for mediocre Michigan State this year, that Tom Izzo is “tournament tough”. Really? This guy is far from an expert and will probably finish behind Fido this year.
(5) The “my bracket is busted” guy. This guy falls into two categories. The overreaction guy after one day of games, who didn’t guess the 10 v 7 match up in two regions and thinks he is doomed already and then the ‘overthinking it all guy’ who had UNC-Wilmington in his Final Four because he thought no one else would pick them that far. This guy is usually eliminated before the sweet 16 even starts.
So get ready for that exciting office pool you got roped into. Enjoy the madness, and just remember, don’t ask anyone if they want to see your elite 8.
Written by Andrew Rosenberg