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Office Pools: A March Madness Tradition

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WILSON — While most fans will be rooting for their favorite teams in the NCAA tournament, there is more than pride at stake for others.

Office pools, a tradition during March Madness, put a year of bragging rights and a little extra cash on the line.

Tim Jones is your average hardworking guy, but come March, his mind turns to college hoops and a friendly wager with some buddies.

"I'd love to see Syracuse win it, but that's not going to happen," he said. "Duke's got a good shot. UConn's got a shot, and I think there's going to be a surprise in there somewhere."

Predicting surprises is the key to staying alive in the office pool.

"I like to put the upsets in there because you never know what can happen," Jones said.

Dana Lee is in four pools, three on the Internet and one at work. Last year the Kentucky native won it all by picking the Wildcats as champions. Who did she pick this year? It almost hurts her to say it.

"I do have Duke going all the way, but I do think UNC will go pretty far," Lee said. "But as for any upsets, I don't have a lot."

Pools that require players to pay are still illegal in our state, though free ones are fine. Pick the right teams at the Professor O'Cools sports bar in Wilson, and winners can legally line their pockets.

"We do a drawing, and if there's a tie, the one who has the most points wins a $25 gift certificate," says Vickie Buchan, an employee at Professor O'Cools.

The pools and the winning will go on for the next three weeks or so. If you have recently moved to the area, welcome to March Madness in North Carolina.


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