The bracket is out. March Madness has arrived.
College basketball’s annual tournament is one of the great American sideshows, a winnowing of a field of 64 down to one national champion. It’s a world of storied programs like Duke and Cinderella teams like Marquette thrown into the same arena, and it’s probably the most widely followed sporting tourney in the country, by everyone from stay-at-home moms to small businesses.
Now, I could draw an analogy between the underdog status of some of the small schools in this year’s big dance and small businesses. After all, both schools like Wofford and businesses with a niche market face struggles competing with the big guys, but can still pull off upsets with tenacity and talent.
But let’s face it, even without the metaphor, you’re going to read about NCAA basketball. You’re not alone.
Newsweek wrote in 2010 that March Madness costs the U.S. a staggering $1.7 billion in lost productivity, a problem that’s difficult to circumvent when it’s so easy to stream the games live online. Your company’s best move may be to embrace the tournament as part of your in-house employee appreciation program, while still making it clear that it’s not a productive use of employees’ time to be watching the games for hours on end. You’ll have a better idea of how to implement that than I would, but I don’t believe a complete moratorium on all things NCAA will survive the ingenuity of employees.
Because we have so many basketball fans over this way, we’ll be keeping you up-to-date on the tournament as it progresses. I’ll throw my hat in the ring and say I expect the University of North Carolina to win the whole thing, based on nothing but a gut feeling and their habit of burning me badly when I pick against them.
Who will you be rooting for? Let us know in the comments.
Photo credit goes to http://www.rothregatta.org/