Sunday, April 6, 2014

Winning the office pool before the final

March Madness tournament pools have been a fun endeavor for me since I was in high school.

Back in the mid-to-late 1990s at Harvey, I ran a very popular tournament pool, getting a sizable percentage of the student body playing and involved.

Since those days now long passed, tournament pools have been an annual rite of passage.

This year's office pool at The News-Herald, though, is perhaps the most unique I've ever seen.

Heading into the national championship game, of the 58 brackets that were submitted, NONE have points left in the title game. That's what happens when Florida gets beat by UConn, and so many other seemingly viable options are off the table and were long ago.

As a result, the winner was decided in the semifinals. Only two of the 58 had points left in the Wisconsin-Kentucky game, and with a Wisconsin win, the best the second person could do was seventh. With a top-three payout, that's not going to get it done.

So here we are in our office, with virtually nothing riding on the national title game.

In 2004, I took a chance on Georgia Tech and rode them all the way to the national final against UConn. If the Ramblin Wreck would've won, it would've netted me first and second in two pools for a payout of more than $1,000. It didn't happen, but it was fun to dream.

Unfortunately for our office, there will be no such dreaming, because our prognostication fell a bit short.

- Chris Lillstrung | @CLillstrungNH


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