Pure March Madness?

Last Updated Mar 21, 2008 4:48 PM EDT

March Madness at BNET TowersWe asked the question yesterday, will March Madness topple the economy? Heck, does this veritable virus threaten Western Civilization itself? Perhaps all life on Earth?

Well, maybe not.

But, like it or not, it's a part of our office lives for the next couple weeks or so. Bracketing, illicit betting, alma mater nuts hoping for their teams will give it the old college try â€" at times it really does seem like a form of mass hysteria. Even here at BNET Towers, one fellow is able to follow the games on a TV set hooked up to CBS's vaunted live webcast.

Some are crowing that businesses stand to lose some $1.7 billion in lost productivity, while others say it's more like $3.8 (though that doesn't hold a candle to the multi-billions supposedly lost to fantasy sports, which can take hours a day compared to the playoffs' quick-and-easy bracketing).[poll id=4]