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Gettin' Ready for the Madness

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Mar 15, 2006 8:37PM

Tomorrow is the bid day for college basketball fans, and even many who don't necessarily follow the sport the rest of the season. The NCAA Tournament kicks off with the first 16 games, running from late morning to nearly midnight.

2006_03_sports_basketball.gifWith those 12 hours of non-stop basketball overlapping a good part of the workday, it comes as little surprise that the tourament impacts workplace productivity. Supposedly $3.8 billion in lost as a result of March Madness, according to consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That number is four times the estaimated cost of last year's tournament -- a result of more workers considering themselves to be fans of college basketball than the firm had previously estimated.

While Chicagoist is highly suspicious of numbers claiming the tournament will be four times more costly to the economy that in years past, there are a number of new ways for fans to follow their alma maters or see whether they correctly picked that upset. Apple will sell games via its iTunes store -- $1.99 per game or all 63 games for $19.99.

But who really want to watch the games after they're over? For those who can't park themselves in front of a TV because they're at work, don't fret. This year, CBS will offer the games live online. This will drive corporate IT guys crazy as they try to prevent their networks from coming to a crawl as half the office watches the games in their cubicles.

Chicagoist Tournament Challenge
There's still time to enter Chicagoist's NCAA bracket pool. Just go to ESPN's Tournament Challenge and seach for Chicagoist. The password to join the group is: chicagoist. Like last year, there will be a prize to the winner. One entry per person, please. Good luck!