SURVEY SAYS: Who's Your Pick for the NCAA Tourney?

March 16, 2006 ( - I don't know about your workplace, but my experience suggests that copies of the NCAA men's college basketball grid (or some electronic equivalent) have been making their way around offices everywhere.

Not that our readers would be participating in any kind of unlawful gaming activities, but this week we asked which team they had picked to win it all.

Well, if the games are as close as the polling on this week’s survey results, it should be a heck of a tournament.   Still, when the dust settled here, the UConn Huskies had prevailed, garnering 26% of the votes – barely holding off the Duke Blue Devils, who drew 24% .   One reader summed up that “competition” by stating simply, “1st pick: Connecticut.   2nd pick: Not Duke.”

Some “knew” but weren’t “sharing” – at least the reader who said, “Ha!   Like I’m going to help you win your office pool?!?!   No way – you’re on your own, buddy!”

I’ll confess to a bit of personal ambivalence at the moment – this year my alma mater didn’t even make it to the NIT (not that there’s anything wrong with THAT).   Still, I apparently have some company – 8% hadn’t yet made a pick (” No picks, but enjoy the excitement of the tournament, ” noted one), some of which were having a bit of trouble making up their mind ( Duke!! Or Villanova!!   Or Gonzaga!!” exclaimed one respondent) – and some – well, some just hadn’t gotten around to it yet (” I haven’t decided yet, but thanks for reminding me, I need to turn in my picks today!” offered another).   Still, a relatively robust 12% were (already) ready for March Madness to be over (one reader noted simply “ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ……………………….”).

Once you got past UConn and Duke (and the undecideds), Ohio State, Texas, the Tar Heels, and Villanova each drew the support of 4%, while Iowa, Memphis State, Michigan State, Pitt, and Syracuse rounded out the “pool.”

Speaking of rounding out – this week’s selection of choice verbatims included the following:

“Two days ago, my husband received an e-mail from his father that read as follows:   ‘Grandma had a heart attack. Don’t forget to fill out your bracket!’   You can see where the tournament ranks in our family’s life!”

“The office pool here is $5 to play and you get points for every winning team that you pick.   Since, as my husband put it, we know more about molecular biology than basketball, I opted to just watch the office antics.”

But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said, “Lacking testosterone, I didn’t even realize March Madness referred to sport.   I thought it was all those calendar year plans that refuse to go on extension.”

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!