Tag Archives: March Madness

VCU, Butler, UConn and Kentucky will play in Houston this weekend for the NCAA basketball Final Four. Winners continue to the National Championship game

Phoenix gets 2017 Final Four tournament

Let the March Madness begin.

The 2017 NCAA Final Four men’s basketball tournament will be played in Phoenix, it was announced Friday.

The Division I Men’s Basketball Committee announced Friday that Phoenix was among five cities selected from eight finalists to host the Final Four for the years 2017-2021. The Valley of the Sun will play host to the event at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale in 2017, becoming the first western city selected since Seattle staged the Final Four in 1995.

Experts say the week-long event could generate more than $100 million in economic impact. Final Four games will be played April 1 and 3, 2017 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. The 2015 Super Bowl and 2016 College Football Playoff championship game also will be played at the same venue.

Other cities chosen by the committee to host in future years include San Antonio in 2018, Minneapolis in 2019 and Atlanta in 2020. The committee elected to award the 2021 Final Four to Indianapolis, which as the home of the NCAA headquarters has a unique long-term contractual relationship that guarantees the Men’s Final Four will be held regularly in the city.

chevy_humphrey

Chevy Humphrey – Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Chevy HumphreyPresident and CEO, Arizona Science Center
Humphrey oversees the $12 million operation of Arizona Science Center, a 164,000-square-foot facility with more than 330 employees and volunteers that welcomes 500,000 visitors every year.

Greatest accomplishment: “Inspiring and helping others succeed. I am humbled to play a role in their achievement.”

Surprising fact: “I am a huge college basketball fan and March Madness is my favorite event of the year.”

Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue, Az Business Magazine celebrates the amazing women who make an impact on Arizona business.

Click here to see all of the 2014 Most Influential Women.

St. Mary's

Cox introduces NCAA March Madness Live App

The NCAA March Madness Live® app now offers Cox Communications’ customers free streaming, live coverage of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship when and where they want it at no additional charge across all tablets, smartphones and desktop computers using a broadband connection. NCAA March Madness Live® features social and interactive components to provide portable access to the tournament and is available via download from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

“We know our customers look forward to exciting basketball in March – whether they watch on their TV, online, mobile or tablet, they won’t miss a minute of coverage! Cox customers who subscribe to the Essential package or higher can experience all of the action wherever they are and at no additional charge,” said Susan Anable, vice president of public affairs for Cox Communications.

The 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship will be televised by CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV now through the Men’s Final Four® and National Championship Game from Atlanta on April 6 and April 8.

Cox communications will offer a wide array of viewing options so that its customers can enjoy the entire NCAA Championship tournament through their:

· Television: For the third consecutive year, all 67 games will be televised in their entirety across four television networks — TBS, CBS, TNT, and truTV.

· Computer: Cox customers with access to TNT, TBS and truTV on their TV will also be able to watch the games live online by going to www.ncaa.com/march-madness and using their Cox User ID and Password to sign in.  All games broadcast on CBS are available with no registration.

· Tablet/Smart phone: Cox customers with access to TNT, TBS,CBS and truTV on their TV will be able to watch the games live via the March Madness Live ® app.  The app is available on Android or Apple smart phones and tablets.

Moneyball

Taking A Gamble On March Madness

Office pools and social gambling can be harmless fun — if the rules are followed

Every human resources department in Arizona would flip a chip if employees set up a poker table in the middle of the boardroom and started playing Texas Hold ‘Em in the middle of the work day. But somehow, gambling in March Madness office pools gets a free pass.

“For many of us, March Madness is a rite of passage in the spring,” says Pavneet Uppal, managing partner of Fisher & Phillips in Phoenix. “It’s a chance to build camaraderie with co-workers through office pools, a chance to reconnect with college friends during games and a chance to indulge in a few chicken wings with the family.”

March Madness — the nickname given to the NCAA basketball tournament — is the nation’s largest gambling event. Conservative estimates project that more than $2.5 billion will be wagered on the tournament, which doubles the amount bet each year on the Super Bowl. More importantly for employers, March Madness costs anywhere from $1.4 billion to $3.8 billion in lost employee productivity each year.

Lost productivity aside, is it legal to bet in March Madness office pools?

“Under Arizona statute, March Madness pools are not illegal if they meet the four criteria of legal social gambling,” says Melissa Costello, an attorney in Bryan Cave’s labor and employment group.

The four criteria of legal social gambling are:
1. All of the participants compete on equal terms.
2. Each participant is at least 21 years old.
3. The participants can only receive winnings, and no other benefit.
4. No non-participant will gain any benefit from the pool.

“If an office pool does not meet all of the criteria for legal ‘social gambling,’ a company that allows an office pool could be charged with a class 5 felony if it conducts, organizes, manages, directs, supervises, finances, or furnishes advice or assistance in promoting the office pool,” Costello says. “A felony conviction could subject the company to a significant fine.”

If the office pool does not meet the ‘social gambling’ criteria, the organizer of the pool could also be charged with a class 5 felony for promoting illegal gambling and, if found guilty, could be sentenced to jail time and ordered to pay a significant fine, Costello warns.

“There can be numerous (other) legal issues, particularly if the gambling crosses state lines,” says Craig O’Loughlin, a partner with Quarles & Brady. “There can be IRS issues with winnings, (and) whistleblower issues.”

Beyond the legal ramifications of office pools, a Spherion study found that 52 percent of human resources executives say their top priority this year is cost containment. March Madness — accompanied by excessive score-checking and an exorbitant amount of water cooler game analysis — erodes workplace productivity and can jeopardize cost-saving measures.

“Employers have every right to expect employees to devote 100 percent of their energies to the job between stated work hours, and as long as they act consistently, can fire employees who play fantasy sports instead of working,” Uppal advises. “Human resources teams should consider reviewing and communicating the company’s office policies on the topic to ensure good people aren’t destroying their careers in the name of March Madness.”

Uppal says many managers are beginning to recognize and accept that employees will spend a portion of their work day handling personal business or surfing the Internet. And some even run March Madness pools as a team-building activity.

“If the employer sponsors (March Madness pools), make the entry free, and have prizes for the winners,” O’Loughlin says. “Also, know the tax ramifications of the prizes.”

Even if employers feel disinclined to allow March Madness office pools because they are a drain on employee productivity and efficiency, the reality is that employees will likely still participate in pools outside of the office, Costello says.

“Office pools should not be official company events, but rather than spend energy prohibiting office pools that meet the ‘social gambling’ criteria, employers should consider using March Madness as a tool for developing employee relationships and increasing morale, such as by inviting employees to wear a shirt from their alma mater on game days, hosting viewing parties during lunch hours, or providing basketball-themed snack breaks in the afternoon.”

Arizona Business Magazine March/April 2012

NCAA March Madness

NCAA March Madness: Get Your Tickets Now

You can watch as much of Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology as possible, study your match-ups and build your Excel spreadsheets, but the office secretary who picked her teams based on mascots will still beat you.

Yes, it is that time of the year again: March Madness.NCAA March Madness Bracket

And luckily for us college hoops fans here in Phoenix, the West Regional will be landing at the US Airways Center March 22 and 24.

Tickets through Ticketmaster already are sold out, but they are currently on sale on StubHub. Get them now before the tournament gets started and before fans make plans to come to Phoenix to support their teams.

If rankings play out, there could be some high-profile programs coming through town.

From Big 10 Tournament champion Michigan State (27-7) to Big East Tournament champion Louisville (26-9), the best of the best have the opportunity to play in the building Barkley built.

That’s only if they can get past some of the dark horses hidden within the West Regional.

And what would March Madness be without some of the tournament-defining upsets?

So here we go. My predictions. Because what kind of March Madness article would this be without them?

While I’ve been doing March Madness brackets for more than 10 years now, I am in no way an expert. Because, truthfully, no one is thanks to past teams like Virginia Commonwealth and George Mason.

I’m going to break this down region by region.

South

In the South Regional, there aren’t too many teams that will get the upper hand in the earlier rounds. And picking VCU in the 5-12 matchup versus Wichita St. is not going to give you the edge on any of your friends or co-workers, as they are likely to pick after the runs they’ve made in the past.

But watch out for Indiana. Even though they are a four seed, they still have a tough road ahead facing the No. 1 overall Kentucky in the Sweet 16 (if both make it there). And don’t forget about Indiana’s year-defining win over Kentucky earlier this season.

I expect to see Indiana taking out Baylor in the Elite 8 and representing the South Region in the Final Four.

West

My end result of the West Regional may be a little conventional, but leading up to that I took some risks with my picks.

And while this may not be a shocker due to their amazing record (30-1), Murray State is going to face Michigan State in the Elite 8.

Also, watch the Lobos from New Mexico as a I predict them taking out Louisville in the round of 32. I don’t see them getting past Michigan State, which will eventually head to the Final Four in New Orleans out of the West.

East

Like the West Regional, my end results here are not very unconventional.

While Syracuse and Ohio State sat in the top 10 rankings all year long, it’s the Florida State Seminoles who you need to watch out for. Coming off their ACC Tournament championship, and beating Duke and UNC both twice this year, they are my pick to come out of the East Regional.

With experienced guards and an athletic inside game, this is the year the usually-disappointing Seminoles make a run in the tournament.

And riding off alumni’s Linsanity, watch Harvard to win the 5-12 matchup against Vanderbilt, and then upset No. 4 seed Wisconsin.

Midwest

And finally, the Midwest.

We’ll start with the upsets. After San Diego State takes out NC State in the first round, look for them to end No. 3 Georgetown’s championship dreams.

Also, Cal., coming off the play-in game vs. South Florida will follow my trend of 5-12 upsets taking out Temple. And if Cal doesn’t beat South Florida in the play-in game, look to see the athletic USF team create the 5-12 upset on their terms.

Every year I seem to end up picking Kansas to make a nice run in the tournament, and it’s the same this year. I don’t know what it is about the Jayhawks and coach Bill Self, but they impress me every year. And this year is no different.

Final Four

On the left bracket we’re going to see Indiana and Michigan State meet in New Orleans. While Michigan State should be the obvious victor in this matchup, Indiana will be riding a string of huge victories that will carry them into the championship.

And on the right, the Seminoles and the Jayhawks will also be meeting in New Orleans. The inside play of Robinson will be too much for the Seminoles to handle, propelling Jayhawks into the NCAA championship tournament for the first time since 2008.

On April 2, Indiana’s amazing tournament run will end. Kansas has too many weapons inside and out and will win the university’s fourth national championship.

To see all my March Madness bracket picks, click here.

March Madness

March Madness: Rules To Follow In The Office

March Making You Mad? March Madness: Rules To Follow In The Office


The football season is over — and there are probably a few business owners happy about it.

Why?

Some studies suggest that fantasy football costs American businesses $615 million in productivity per NFL week.

But, when one chapter ends, another begins — time for March Madness.

For many of us, March Madness is a rite of passage in the spring, a chance to build camaraderie with co-workers through office pools, a chance to re-connect with college friends during games, and a chance to indulge in a few chicken wings with the family. Just as with fantasy football, however, employers are getting more and more impatient with even the most efficient and talented employees spending work hours accessing gambling websites on company computers during March Madness, taking time to exchange money, trash talk the teams and other sometimes inappropriate behavior with co-workers, friends and family.

At the least, every employee in your office should know the following before filling out a bracket at work:

  • Employers have the right to strictly enforce a policy prohibiting recreational use of the Internet and monitor employee usage to ensure that workers adhere to the policy while working.
  • Employers have the right to expect employees to devote 100 percent of their energies to their jobs between stated work hours.
  • As long as employers act consistently, they can fire employees who play fantasy sports instead of working.

To be safe, what can employers do right now?

Communicate!

If you are the employer, now is the perfect time to explain your specific rules on fantasy leagues in the workplace. It is also importance to note that just because March Madness IS allowed in the office, this doesn’t mean that everyone should take part. Outline reasons for and/or against it and consequences.

If you are the employee and are spending excessive company hours as well as precious time at home on March Madness, you may need more help than the office human resources department can provide and may want to ask yourself these questions.

1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
3. Did gambling affect your reputation?
4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
7. After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
8. After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
12. Were you reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures?
13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
14. Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry, trouble, boredom or loneliness?
16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
19. Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
20. Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?

According to Gamblers Anonymous, if you answered “yes” to seven or more questions, you or a loved one may have a problem with gambling.

Admitting you or your loved one may need help is the first step to recovery. The second is looking up the Arizona Office of Problem Gambling, which offers a litany of resources and contact information for counseling, treatment programs, additional warning signs and symptoms and much more.

Shayna Balch is an associate in Fisher & Phillips’ local office as well as  a member of the Valley of the Sun Human Resource Association’s Board of Directors. For more information about March Madness in the office, please visit laborlawyers.com or contact Shayna at (602) 281-3406.
VCU, Butler, UConn and Kentucky will play in Houston this weekend for the NCAA basketball Final Four. Winners continue to the National Championship game

An Unlikely Final Four Travel To Houston

Who would have thought?

President Obama, a few weeks back, offered his annual bracket to ESPN, in the Oval Office, with Kansas defeating Ohio State in the National Championship, neither of which even made it to Houston this weekend.

This Final Four will mark the first time in the history of collegiate basketball that no No. 1 or No. 2 team will play:

Butler, UConn, Kentucky and VCU will battle it out this weekend in Houston for the NCAA Final Four – a strikingly unusual ending to a historical tournament. But is it really that unusual? This March has been, and continues to be, the fundamental appeal of sports to the sports-minded upsets.

Two months ago, the bracket layout was completely different. Had I even mentioned the idea that VCU would have beaten Kansas in terrific fashion to move ahead to the Final Four, your first reaction would have most likely been, “Who is VCU?”  Virginia Commonwealth University is hardly a basketball staple but neither was Butler in 2010 or George Mason in 2006, which were both 11 seeds.

Domination by schools like Duke, UConn, Kentucky and UCLA have been drilled in the sports fans’ minds as given appearances to the final weeks in March and their position atop the hierarchy of basketball elites for the past 40 years. But like anything else in life deemed a certainty, nothing is definite; it’s merely waiting to be defeated.

Butler made it all the way to the final game last year, only to lose to Duke by a mere two points. Although a feat unto it self, collegiate basketball is becoming increasingly more unlikely.

VCU had a modest season but still won their induction to the tournament as the fourth seed in the Colonial Athletic Association. With schools like Towson University, University of Delaware and Hofstra University, they’re anything but a sports powerhouse.

And maybe that says it all.  2010 – 2011 has been a year of unlikelihood.

Who is to say that certainty and predictability makes for the best outcome or even the best performance? The simple fact remains that success is never a guarantee.  And if you think it is, you’ve already lost.

In 1779, Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated as VCU’s home state Governor of Virginia and was quoted as saying, “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”

So if the scrutiny of VCU is that they’re “lucky” to be in the tournament against the “big boys,” then I would have to agree with the criticism. They’ve been luckier this season than any other season in their history, and they’ve worked hard for it.