March? Oh, it’s mad all right.

22 Mar

Image Source:

Quick poll: how many of you experienced bandwidth issues at your office this week because colleagues were busy streaming March Madness games to their desks on Thursday and Friday? 

Just curious, because the media claims the NCAA hoops tournament is a huge productivity killer at work, but I’m always booked solidly on calls all day, so I’m curious to know who, exactly, has time to watch a basketball game (or ten) while they’re on the clock?

I partially answered this question on a small scale when Alan showed up at my place Friday night and asked if I’d seen the Michigan State game. Apparently he’d managed to stream and watch it in his office while doing some project work.

And he was frustrated on two counts: first, because the internet had been sluggish because everyone at his law firm had been doing the same thing (allegedly), and second, because he missed the last 20 minutes of the game because he had to attend a meeting in someone else’s office.

Rough times in the legal profession.

Image Source: might not watch the games, but I do watch my bracket standings in our office pool. Ever since I won the first March Madness pool I participated in (organized by my social studies classmate in ninth grade), I’ve been hooked. The same strategy that brought me that win continues to serve me fairly well as an adult: I pick the team names that include letters I like (example: x, v, z, q).

As a result, I’m big on Gonzaga, Xavier, Villanova – and I picked Arizona as a longer-shot to win it this year.

You may laugh at that logic, but I’m currently in third place out of 19 and my best score still makes me a contender. Also? I’ve heard of crazier ways of choosing teams – like going based on which mascot would likely win in a fight.

Actually, the folks at Five Thirty Eight have taken this one step further and modeled a few different scenarios and the likelihood of that approach providing you a win. Here are a few of their examples:

Mascot Most Likely to Win in A Fight – Final Four

Midwest: Hampton University Pirates

West: Texas Southern University Tigers

East: Michigan State University Spartans

South: Iowa State Cyclones

Championship game: Pirates vs. Cyclones

Winner: Iowa State Cyclones


Cuteness Final Four 

Midwest: Northeastern University Huskies (No. 14 seed, <1 percent)

West: University of Wisconsin Badgers (No. 1 seed, 33 percent)

East: U.C. Irvine Anteaters (No. 13 seed, <1 percent)

South: Gonzaga Bulldogs (No. 2 seed, 24 percent)

Championship game: Badgers vs. Bulldogs

Winner: University of Wisconsin Badgers

Sorry, but I’m not clear on how a badger or an anteater are even eligible to participate in a “cuteness” bowl. Have the folks creating this bracket ever googled the animals they’re choosing? In case they (or you) haven’t, here’s a look at the badger:

Image Source: Google Images

So I’m going to have to disqualify the Badgers. Same for the anteaters, though I do enjoy saying any word that has “teat” hidden in it. Maybe – as it turns out – I’m not mature enough to pick my own bracket in the first place. Whatever… GO SHOCKERS!


[UPDATE: I am no longer in third place. I am now basically in last, thanks to the Villanova upset. Feel free to ignore my advice on team-picking.]

2 Responses to “March? Oh, it’s mad all right.”

  1. emphasisonjoy March 22, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

    Wow. My takeaway? Zoe will be thrilled you like the letter Z (Oh, and you’re way more of a 10-year-old boy than I thought – or is it a young serf? Who even says TEAT anymore?)

    • pithypants April 3, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

      Well, I did grow up in a farm town…

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