Robert Thompson, professor of popular culture at Syracuse University, said office pools are the key to the tournament's popularity.
"If you were to wave a wand and remove all the gambling, it wouldn't be madness anymore," he said. "Brackets are the greatest graphic invention ever. It's just made it so user-friendly. If you know a lot about college basketball, you can debate a lot. If you know nothing you can still have a 50-50 chance and do very well ... It's a crossword puzzle. It's sports meets Soduku."
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