What time should I sneak out of work today to drink beer and watch as much basketball as possible?
The obvious answer to this is NOW NOW NOW, because the first game (Valpo vs. Michigan St.) starts at 12:15 p.m. EST, with Bucknell-Butler following it up at 12:40. You go at noon, you order your beer and wings and nachos, and then you settle in for the next 52 hours. But it's always a fine line you walk, trying to get out of work early. Some people have the luxury of blowing off an entire afternoon of work. But for those of us who have Bill Lumbergh as a boss, it's a bit dicier.
If leaving at noon for the rest of the day is an impossibility, you have to prioritize. You want to be able to see the end of any tight game, yes? AND you want to be able to NEVER go back to work ever, right? There's a careful way of going about this. I always like to keep an eye on the early scores. Valpo and Bucknell have both pulled off tourney upsets in the past, so maybe they'll keep the two early games competitive.
But if they both start the day getting blown out of the water (what a letdown), you're essentially able to stay at work for an extra two hours, which sounds terrible but could help you finish all the shit you gotta get done while constantly checking scores or going into the conference room to watch little snippets of the action (NOTE: Getting peeks at the tourney on a TV at work SUCKS. You never feel like you can stand there too long, and you can't drink. It's the worst of all worlds).
By 3 p.m. the third game (Pitt-Wichita State) will be in the second half and two other games will be underway, with a fourth tipping off at 3:10. If Pitt-Wichita State sucks (and it's never all that interesting anyway when 8/9 games are close because they're supposed to be), you can even push it to 3:30. NO ONE will expect you to return to work if you slip out at 3:30. And if they do, fuck them in the ear. You're done. It's pint after pint after pint of luscious beer for you the rest of the afternoon. Your non-sports fan boss (they're never sports fans) will have to collate those PowerPoint decks his own damn self. For you, the night is young and you are mere hours away from drunkenly groping a flagpole and throwing up in the street. Good on ya. Now, down into Kinja (cross your fingers) for some hot Live bag action.
Drew Magary writes for Deadspin and Gawker. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at email@example.com. You can also order Drew's new book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.