Mar 21, 2013 7:57 PM
It's that time of year again! College basketball's biggest showcase tipped off this morning, the annual NCAA Championship Tournament. Every year there seems to be a method to the "March Madness," one that affects the bottom line at many local businesses in the area.
Fans in Chico were in high spirit today, some playing hooky from work, others spending their lunch hours at local watering holes watching the television and their brackets. That means less productivity in the work-place, resulting in financial losses for several companies.
The teams are hitting the court. The fans are gearing up and across the country, it's game time.
"It's awesome. I've been waiting all year for this," said Colin Jones.
"It's the greatest event of the year, sports wise," said Peter Hansen.
There's nothing like the NCAA basketball championship tournament. It seems to capture the emotion.
"The games can be so exciting, there are buzzer beaters, David's slaying Goliath's, there's nothing better than this," said Dave Moore.
Many are supposed to be at work, but they're taking extended lunch breaks.
"I am on my lunch right now, but it's getting close to where I have to go back to work, but I'll still be watching the games," said Moore.
"We got an office pool over at North State Engineering with about a dozen of us and it's always a little bit of trash talking, it's a good time," said Hansen.
Estimates are 3-million fans will spend one to three hours a day focused on the tournament while they should be working.
That means March Madness will cost American businesses an estimated 134 million dollars in lost productivity during the first two days of the tournament.
"I got my bracket going all the time, got to get those points man," said Jones.
If you flip a coin to pick the winner of each game, the odds of a perfect bracket are 1-in-100 million trillion.
But then that unpredicatability seems to be the draw.
"That's what makes it so much fun, anybody can win, anybody can fill a bracket out and they just get so excited, and that's why I love it so much," said Moore.
A love that millions can't let go of, even at work.