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Who's Who in Your NCAA Office Pool

It's time for the NCAA tournament: the one week out of the year that your office turns into a Vegas sports book. Unless, of course, you work at a Vegas sports book in which case it's sort of like this all year long you lucky bastard. But if you're part of the less fortunate 99.9% of the population, you probably have a bracket to fill out and need some advice. Luckily, we have years of experience coming in dead last in office pools and we've broken down the types of people you'll be encountering, character by character, so you know whose bracket to copy off of and who you're going to want to choke out, prison style, in the men's bathroom.


YOU
The control in this little experiment in failure, you're going to pick whatever teams you've actually seen play on TV. This way when somebody asks you why the hell you have Gonzaga in the Final Four, you can tell them that you like the little funny looking white guy they've got running the point because you happened to be hung over enough one Sunday to sit through an entire Gonzaga game. This completely illogical strategy-- assuming someone is the correct choice because you've seen them before-- is actually not as rare as you think, and is in fact the strategy President Bush used to fill his cabinet.

Odds of Winning: 100-1
We all know how well it worked for Dubya.


THE BRACKET PRO
This guy has done his research. Also of note, this guy is an enormous douche. When you tell him you like UConn, he'll go on a Good Will Hunting-style rant: "Sure you think UConn' gonna win. You read Dick Vitale and Bill Simmons. You'll think that 'till you read Bilas' article on UConn' susceptibility in transition. The sad thing about you is at the end of this tournament, you're going to realize that you spent $15 on an education from ESPN Insider that you could have gotten from swallowing a handful of Ritalin and watching your Xbox simulate all 65 games of the NCAA tournament." He'll be dying to explain every single one of his picks in great detail, both before the tournament starts and after all of his upsets don't happen and he's in last place by the Sweet 16.

Odds of Winning: 101-1
The Bracket Pro is the only person in your office who will do worse than you. Good. But, he's also the only person in your office pool who you should take seriously when he says he' thinking about "doing something crazy if Marquette doesn't pull this one out."


YOUR BOSS'S DAUGHTER
Last year, she picked UNC, Michigan State and Illinois to go to the Final Four because she thought they had pretty colors. Infuriatingly, she won enough money to pay for two-maybe three-of your weekly trips to the massage parlor. Before the second round is underway, you'll be cursing her under your breath while the office makes a big fuss about her latest slobber-faced cameo on your boss's knee.

Odds of Winning: 70-1
Depending on how the "pretty light blue" team does, she'll most likely make some noise in the later rounds while you wish leukemia upon her. Okay, not leukemia, but like a really, really bad cold. And teenage obesity.


THE GUY WHO WENT TO DUKE
This asshole picks his alma mater to win the championship every year and, even though Duke is a perennial favorite, acts like he' going out on a limb by doing so. He'll also make a point to talk about the team in the first-person plural, as in "we barely eked that one out last night," "our freshman are tremendously resilient," or "we had the hottest all-dude orgy last night while watching old Shane Battier tapes." No matter how much you non-Dukers admire JJ Redick and Coach K, after the first round you'll be praying for the entire team to perish in a fiery La Bamba-style mid-air disaster.

Odds of Winning: 50-1
Depending on how well Duke does and poorly UNC fairs he'll probably be alright. You, on the other hand, are in last and don't have a degree from Duke.


YOUR BOSS
Whether you work at a bank, a law firm or a bologna factory, your boss views the office pool as an opportunity to establish some common ground with his staff and dole out some good-natured ribbing. "Hey Doug, what happened to your Kentucky Wildcats?" "Hey Doug, did you really have Syracuse going to the Final Four last year?" "Hey Doug, your girlfriend looks like she could use a night with a real man's bologna." It is important to keep in mind that your boss didn't come to lord over your meaningless life by being non-competitive, so refrain from accusing him of running a vast NCAA point shaving conspiracy when he beats you. It's better to keep the reciprocal chiding to his daughter' monkey-like bone structure.

Odds of Winning: 20-1
Keep your fingers crossed-if he wins, he'll probably spread the wealth by taking everyone out to Chi-Chi' for lunch! Mmmm!

THE GUY WHO DOESN'T PICK ANY UPSETS
This guy will talk at length about how he liked the grittiness Memphis showed in the Conference USA tournament even though it' obvious that he just put a checkmark next to their name because they were a one seed. The really aggravating thing about this conservative bastard is that, while having a Final Four made up of one-seeds would never fly in a legit NCAA pool, in your five-member pool that doesn't reward upsets, this guy will win more often than not. Even more annoying is how hard it is to find a box of live cobras to FedEx him.

Odds of Winning: 10-1
Being a big pussy often means big-time success. And while your decision to have Northern Iowa win the championship didn't pan out, Tupac didn't play it safe either. Sadly, thinking of yourself as the Tupac of your NCAA Office Pool will not make this guy's victory sting any less.



THE GUY WHO'S WINNING HIS DAD'S OFFICE POOL
This guy just clearly doesn't know what he' doing. He' picking 15 seeds to go to the Sweet 16 and has Bucknell in the Final 4. Rather than just keeping his mouth shut while everyone else talks about their bracket, this guy tries to convince everyone that he' picked every single game correctly in his dad' office pool. "See this was just my upset bracket. I wasn't even trying on this one. In my dad' office pool I haven't lost a single game in the last three years. Honestly. It' sort of embarrassing. They call me "the kid" and carry me around on their shoulders whenever I drop by." In all likelihood, this guy' father is either dead or doesn't love him. Either way, it's probably best not to call him out on not having a father until your out with your boss and coworkers at Chi-Chi' so that everyone can hear what a lying coward he is.

Odds of Winning: 25-1
Despite the fact that he felt like he needed to fabricate an elaborate story to cover up his failure, he will still probably do better than you.


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