The U.S. will likely experience a slight dip in productivity over the next three weeks as the attention of many workers turns to the climax of the college basketball season: the NCAA Basketball Tournament. For many people, the annual NCAA basketball pool is as much an office tradition as the summer picnic and holiday party.
Google Docs makes it simple to create a tournament-bracket spreadsheet with a form that uses drop-down lists and text boxes to record people's game picks. (You can also print the spreadsheet for making your game selections the old-fashioned way.) All picks are displayed at the bottom of the brackets, complete with the names of the prognosticators and a time stamp to make sure they got their picks in on time.
Last year, about 140 people used the brackets and form I created to make their game picks, and another 50 or so entered their selections after the first tip-off. While I never got around to figuring out who had the fewest wrong, I did determine that no one got every game right.
I also determined that my picks last year were pretty lousy. I had only one of the Final Four teams and neither of the Finals contenders. This year, I'm sticking with the scratch and choosing Kentucky over Kansas in the final. At least if I'm wrong this time around I'll have a lot of company.