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Who's Who in Your NCAA Office Pool

It's time for the the NCAA tournament: the one week out of the year that your office turns into a Vegas sports book. 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 by the time the Final Four roles around.


YOU
The control in this little experiment in failure, you're going to pick whichever teams you've actually seen play on TV. This way when somebody asks you why the hell you have Louisville in the Final Four, you can quote Digger Phelps and say you "like the way David Padgett controls the offense." Of course, you only picked them because you happened to be hung over one Sunday when ESPN showed a Louisville game. This completely illogical strategy-- assuming someone is the correct choice because you know them -- is actually not as rare as you think, and is in fact the strategy Kevin Smith employs when casting a film.

Odds of Winning: 100-1
Totally dependent on which Sunday you were hung over.


YOUR BOSS
Whether you work at a bank, a law firm or a 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." It is important to keep in mind that your boss didn't come to lord over you by being non-competitive, so it's best to keep the reciprocal chiding friendly and light.

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's for lunch!


THE GUY WHO DOESN'T PICK ANY UPSETS
This guy will talk at length about how he liked the grittiness Kansas showed in the Big 12 tournament even though it's obvious that he just put a checkmark next to their name because they have a lower seed than their opponent. The really aggravating thing about this conservative approach is that, while it would never fly in a legit NCAA pool that weights for upsets, in a bush league office pool that just tallies the number of wins, this guy will do well 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
" Tupac didn't play it safe either," you'll tell yourself while picking Western Kentucky to make it to the finals, and again when they lose in the first round. Sadly, thinking of yourself as the Tupac of your NCAA Office Pool will not make this guy's victory sting any less.



THE BRACKET PRO
This guy has done his research. Too much of it in fact. When you tell him you like Georgetown, he'll go on a Good Will Hunting-style rant: "Sure you think Georgetown's gonna win. You read Dick Vitale and Bill Simmons. You'll think that 'till you read Bilas' article on the Hoyas' 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 by 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 mathematically eliminated by the third round.

Odds of Winning: 101-1
The Bracket Pro is the only person in your office who might 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's thinking about "doing something crazy if Marquette doesn't pull this one out."


THE GUY WHO WENT TO DUKE
If you have a former Blue Devil in your office, you can rest assured that he's picking his alma mater to win the championship. This becomes annoying when, even in years when Duke is a one seed, he acts like he's going out on a limb by doing so. He'll also make a point to talk about the Blue Devils in the first-person plural, as in "we barely eked that one out last night," "our freshman are tremendously resilient," and "we had the hottest all-dude orgy last night while watching some old Shane Battier tapes." No matter how much you admire 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: 40-1
His success depends completely on how well Duke does and how poorly UNC fairs, which means he'll probably be mediocre to bad this year. You, on the other hand, are in dead last and don't have a degree from Duke.


YOUR BOSS'S DAUGHTER
Last year, she picked Florida and UCLA to go to the Final Four because she thought they had pretty colors, and Georgetown because her imaginary friend is named George. 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 whisper to your co-workers that she's probably too old to have an imaginary friend.


THE GUY WHO'S WINNING IN HIS OTHER 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's office pool. "See this was just my upset bracket. I wasn't even trying on this one. In my dad's office pool I haven't lost a single game in the last three years. Whenever I drop by the old man's office, they call me 'the kid' and carry me around on their shoulders." In all likelihood, this guy's father doesn't love him. Either way, it's probably best not to call him on it until you're out with your boss and coworkers at Chi-Chi's. You're going to want everyone to hear that.

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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