It’s that time of year again that friends and coworkers all across the country are getting together to fill out brackets for March Madness. I am one of those guys that watches the selections shows, surfs ESPN for their advice, and buys two different newspapers to read before filling out my own bracket. A couple days later I find that I can’t get through the first round undefeated. But then again, very few get through Thursday and Friday with a perfect bracket.
The thing I love about March Madness is that it brings people from different walks of life together. You have your die hard sport fans filling out brackets, as well as people who don’t follow sports but love to fill out a bracket. I have had friends who don’t follow sports who make their picks based on the mascot or even team colors.
Several years ago, I joined a unique March Madness office pool at my work created by my buddy who’s nickname is “The Flo” and have been hooked ever since. What I like about this office pool is that it is something different than your normal “fill out a bracket” office pool. It is a pool for die hard college basketball fans as well as people who have never watched a game.
I have included a table of last years office pool to help explain. You need 16 people to do the pool. In our pool everybody pays in $5 so the winner ends up winning $80 (including the $5 he/she put in.) After the teams are announced on Selection Sunday you take the 64 teams (the teams in the play in games are both grouped in one team ..see pic above) and split them into 4 groups. The groups as shown in the pic above are the following:
#13 – #16 seeds low
#9 – #12 seeds mid-low
#5 – #8 seeds mid-high
#1 – #4 seeds high
Each of the 16 people in your pool each get a team out of the 4 groups listed above. You could put the teams in 4 hats and do a random draw or you could use a computer to generate the pics. It is a fair pool, since everybody ends up with a low, mid-low, mid-high, and high seed. If one of your 4 teams is the winner of the NCAA Tourney, you win the pool.
[table id=58 /]
In the table above I removed the names of the participants in our pool. However to better explain the experience, I was the top row in last years pool. My 4 random picks were Montana, California, Wisconsin, and Louisville. What makes this pool interesting is that I find myself cheering for Montana (a team I know nothing about) to win their games so I wouldn’t lose a team. I became a fan of California and Wisconsin during the tourney. It was bittersweet for me that I had Louisville who defeated Duke in the NCAA Tournament. Yes I did win the $80 pool money with the Louisville pick. However, I would have easily given up the $80 I won in the pool for Duke to have beat Louisville and cut down the nets.
As you can see this is a unique office pool. I myself take a sharpie and scratch out the teams as they are eliminated from the tournament. There is no better feeling as a Duke fan than marking out North Carolina from the pool as they get eliminated. With Selection Sunday coming up soon, this is another pool you can do along with filling out the brackets.