Today, March 16th, is one of the least productive days in offices across America. Why? People are swept up in the giddiness that is filling out brackets for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament a.k.a March Madness. Who do you have in the Final Four? Do you have Michigan State winning it all? How about Michigan surprising everyone (including themselves) and dancing into the Sweet 16? Should I pick Siena over Ohio State as an upset even though Ohio State is practically playing a home game (only an hour from Columbus)? Which 12 Seed will beat a 5 (I pick Western Kentucky over Illinois)? It's just a lot of fun to fill out a bracket (or two) for the office pool or go against your friends online at any number of sites now hosting bracket pools.
This is the first time since 1998 that both Michigan and Michigan State have been in The Big Dance. That was back when my beloved alma mater, Western Michigan, was an 11 Seed and upset 6 Seed Clemson. I was interning at an accounting firm in Coldwater and some fellow Western alums and I ran across the street to the local bar when the final minutes were ticking off the clock and Western was still in it. Hey, you know who Michigan plays in the first round? Number 7 Seed Clemson. There's your random bit of meaningless trivia for today.
The Final Four is in Detroit and that is not only great news for Detroit, it's great news for our entire state. With bad news piling up quicker than Michigan State's Goran Suton picks up fouls this will be a nice distraction in the newspapers. It will also give the Detroit economy a brief (but necessary) boost with hotels, restaurants, and other local businesses reaping the benefits of the national spotlight and fans.
This week's poll question deals with March Madness so without further ado, vote!