So why the love affair with the office pool? One reason is that while the Super Bowl takes place on one day and involves teams from just two regions, the NCAA Tournament spans two and a half weeks and involves teams from all over the country. Chances are, you're affiliated in some way with at least one of the 64 participating teams, whether you're a long-time fan, an alum, or a citizen of one or more of the teams' home states.
Another attraction to the office pool is the fact that it makes the games (especially in the early rounds) more enjoyable to watch. Would you ordinarily care how the College of Charleston or Fairleigh Dickinson fared in the first round unless you were an alum, or had a little money on it? Probably not.
The tournament's popularity also stems from the fact that it's an activity that anyone can compete in and have a legitimate chance of winning. Inevitably, true college basketball fans that can recite the starting five of even the lowest seeds tend to trail the bean counters that haven't seen a game all season, or the elderly receptionist who chose Stanford for the final four last season because their red uniforms resembled her grandson's favorite teletubby.