NCAA Tourney Brackets: 3 Reasons To Fill One Out

Posted in Busyness Blog

By now you have probably been introduced to this year's NCAA tourney brackets in one manner or another. Either you are running your own pick 'em tournament, have been invited to one by someone else, or you have overheard a co-worker or two debating this year's "sleeper team" who is poised to make a run to the Final Four.

NCAA Tourney Brackets

NCAA Tourney Brackets

Welcome to March Madness!  Regardless of whether you are a college basketball junkie or can't name a single college basketball team, it takes effort to NOT hear at least some chatter about the college basketball tournament. This is the time of the year that college basketball enthusiasts look forward to. It is also the time of the year that many corporations dread.

  • An estimated $192 million in lost productivity in American workplace (Source: 2011 March Madness Productivity Report by Challenger, Granger & Christmas, Inc.)
  • Total online viewership during work hours estimated to be at least 8.4 million hours (Source: 2011 March Madness Productivity Report)
  • The NCAA estimates that more than 35 million Americans take part in March Madness office pools

These seem like scary statistics.  However, I find myself asking the same question asked a year ago by Steve (I don't know Steve) on his 'the BigRocks of Change' blog.   Is it actually more productive to ban something like a college tournament pool from the workplace or to let it happen and gain some of the benefits of allowing it to take place?

Personally, I have always openly participated in NCAA bracket pools while working in corporate America (and still do as an entrepreneur).  For me it is never about procrastinating or avoiding necessary work.  I view the opportunity as one to engage with my fellow co-workers, prove to them who was really the college basketball genius, and to have fun (not necessarily in that order).  However, I believe that filling out your own NCAA tourney bracket is something that you should definitely do.  Here are three reasons to do so:

Reason #1 - Camaraderie:  One of the positive effects related to NCAA tourney brackets is that it often brings people together to interact within a temporary social setting.  For some, it may be one of the few times each year that they interact with friends, family members, or even strangers and do so as they discuss and participate in a college basketball pool.  I have many examples where I have developed deeper and more meaningful relationships with peers, team members and friends by participating.

Reason #2 - Competitiveness:  In a world that continues to reduce the emphasis winning and losing, filling out an NCAA tourney bracket is an opportunity to re-connect with your competitive spirit.  I personally believe that competitiveness is one of the traits that makes America so great.  The NCAA tourney brackets allow you to compete with others and to compete against the brackets themselves.  Did you know that there are over 147.5 quintillion ways to fill out a bracket with this year’s 68-team field?  More importantly, there has never been a perfectly completed NCAA tourney bracket documented.  Are you ready to be the first?  Please realize that chances are that you won't be the first and you also won't beat me.

Reason #3 - Fun:  Life (including work) is supposed to be fun.  Without fun comes complacency, disinterest, or even complete dislike.  I worked once with a guy who told me that "Now is not the time for fun.  There will be a time for fun in the future but it is not now."  Needless to say, I ended that working relationship.  As human-beings, we have been uniquely designed with a purpose but also to laugh and have fun.  You should focus on meaningful activity that produces results but also seek to proactively design fun into your day.

BUSYNESS PICK'EM CHALLENGE:  I would like to invite you to the 1st annual Busyness Pick'Em Challenge.  It's free (and fun).  The winner will receive complimentary access to my Entrepreneur Cashmap course (a $497 value) and a sponsorship placement on one of my upcoming Busyness TV shows (a $750) value.  Register now.

  • Candice

    This is my first year filling a bracket out and it is because of you. I only know that 3 Michigan teams are in it but I thought it would be fun. It took a hour out of my Monday at work. Thanks!

    • Dr. Brad Semp

      Uh oh...don't tell your management that I was the one who caused you to sacrifice 12.5% of your workday today!  Chances are...they are doing the same thing.  :)  Good luck - you had better NOT picked against Michigan State.  :)

  • Mike

    Hey Brad there is a lot of truth in what you wrote here, and a lot of time will be so called wasted time in the office looking over how their teams are doing. But it is a great way to break up the busy work day for the next few weeks as everyone pays more attention to how their teams are doing than to work. I will be doing the same as I am in a few brackets throughout the Internet and a few local sports bars. I hate to do this to you but Syracuse will win the whole tournament LOL. Once again a great article on using your time effectively and working within your busy day, Thanks

    • Dr. Brad Semp

      Thanks, @c7ec40c50470da91717a7f7979fda596:disqus !  If you are so confident about the ' had better take 2 minutes right now to submit your bracket in the Busyness Pick'em Challenge!  :)

  • Tylor M

    Where can I get the Pool Password?

    • Dr. Brad Semp

      Hi @a88dba3de2e122400886c7fe3cd66ded:disqus - the group password for the Busyness Pick'Em Challenge is =>> unbusy

      Here's the link:
      Group password:  unbusy

      Thank you for pointing that out!

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