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Nearly One in Four of Your Co-workers Is Not Down with March Madness Pools

Our friends at Vault put together a fun little survey on your gambling habits at work and, no surprise, nearly 75% of you participate in a March Madness pool. What about the remainder? Well, there are the puritanical types who probably leave Bible verses on your desk, “My office is awash in sinners. Some day a real rain will come and these cubicles will be cleansed.” But then there’s the jerks who are simply all business:

“The next time I see [colleagues using work time to focus on office pools], I’m going to put an anonymous note on all the bosses desks to make them aware” warns one respondent. (Presumably they fall into the 22 percent of respondents who disapprove of workplace betting altogether.)

If you know someone who is capable of this level of dickishness, the temptation to violently pinch them with a stapler remover is great, however we’d ask that you refrain from this until they actually make good on their threat. Of course if you impress upon them that there is a valid purpose for studying a bracket, maybe they’ll let it slide.

Here’s How This Year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Would Shake Out If It Were Based on Accounting Research Production

It’s that time of year again where thousands of Americans spend countless hours of company time researching basketball teams and agonizing over which #12 seed will pull a minor upset only to have someone from marketing, who doesn’t know a damn thing about basketball, to win the pool. It also marks the time of year when the accounting faculty at BYU puts outs their own simulated version of the tournament, played out based on the productivity of accounting researchers over the last six years.


As you can see, a lot of similar schools are making a run again this year including Texas (last year’s simulated champion) and Michigan State. If you’re interested in what this year’s non-bracketed accounting rankings are, you can check them out on the campanion research page.

Games start on Thursday tomorrow (obviously I’m not in a pool) so if you’re having trouble filling out your bracket, this seems like a good place to start. You could do a helluva lot worse when it comes to strategy.

(UPDATE, VIDEO) GW Accounting Professor Gives Qualified Opinion of Referee’s Services, Gets Ejected

Up until now, we’ve heard more about accounting professors losing their clothes (shirt, pants) than anything their tempers. But today, we learned about a prof who was expressing an expert opinion (perhaps a little too strongly) on the value of a service:

An accounting professor and high-profile supporter of the GW Athletics program was escorted from the Smith Center Saturday for verbally confronting a referee over a foul call. From his sideline seat on the court, Robert Kasmir yelled at the referee over a foul call on sophomore forward David Pellom, prompting his removal from the court by a member of the athletics department. “Basically, I told the ref he was the worst ref I’d ever seen and he wasn’t worth the $1,600 dollars they were paying him and that was it,” Kasmir said. “And then he ejected me from the game.”

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the fact that Mr Kasmir isn’t that bad of a guy:

Kasmir’s ejection came after he and his family were honored during the second half for their contributions to GW Athletics. Kasmir, who received his MBA from GW in 1974, has made at least one donation to the University ranging from $10,000 to $24,999, according to financial documents. Kasmir said the ejection would not keep him from making further donations to the University in the future.

But as for that referee, Kasmir has a very unqualified view, “I think the official should never be allowed to officiate another game in the Atlantic 10, in college basketball, in the United States.”

UPDATE: From the Post for those of you that like visuals:

Professor, donor tossed from basketball game [GW Hatchet via Deadspin]

Quote of the Day: Kansas Jayhawks Fans Can Quit Crying at Any Time | 03.22.10

“It is most accurate to say that prior to the game, most people thought that KU would win the game. Many, though, thought [that] UNI’s chance of winning was at least reasonably possible. If KU supporters didn’t think enough of UNI to … acknowledge its chance[s], it just shows they weren’t thinking.”

~ Professor David Albrecht, on why Northern Iowa’s “upset,” at least from an accounting perspective, wasn’t really an upset.

(UPDATE) Ernst & Young Doesn’t Care if You Missed Murray State Upsetting Vanderbilt

From an upset Ernster on the Left Coast:

EY Blocks all Websites with “sports” because of March Madness. People in my SoCal office are all ticked off. This sucks. First it was pandora and now it is sports websites. What is next? Lunch breaks? Bathroom breaks?


Music, sports, food, bodily functions. That seems like the right order, doesn’t it?

Since our source sounds pretty upset, this must not be an annual ritual for E&Y. It’s also not clear if this some kind of punishment for everyone showing up hungover today or if it is somehow Lehman Brothers related. Let us know if you’re blacked out at we’ll send you updates.

UPDATE, 6:43 pm: Turns out this was just temporary, THANK GOD:

It turns out there was an internal webcast about Lehman Bros so they shut down all sports websites during the webcast because it was interferring with the webcast. Sports websites are back up but there were a lot of people who were ticked off and went home to work.

Damn you Lehman Brothers! We knew it! So now the question is, what was said on the webcast? Anyone take copious notes?

Quote of the Day: March Madness Pools Are an Important Busy Season Distraction | 03.08.10

“This year of all years, the importance of camaraderie and bringing employees together is greater than ever. If people are talking about March Madness, they’re not talking about the state of the business, or the pay cuts, or the layoffs, or things like that”

~ Jonathan Shapiro, partner at labor and employment firm Fisher & Phillips, on why betting pools and even game-watching are good morale boosters.