Majority Of Fans Admit To Watching March Madness At Work

The greatest tournament bracket in sports is upon us. March Madness is a special time of the year for so many Americans living with the hope that they can be that one person in the workplace to brag about nailing their bracket.

It’s the sports competition where, for some, the bracket is more important than any team. Predicting the tournament is an opportunity to show off sporting knowledge and flex in front of colleagues while the rest of the office is reeling at their failed predictions.

Though, at what lengths are college basketball fans willing to go to catch the action? And how does it impact America’s industry? We’ve surveyed 2,000 NCAA hoops enthusiasts to discover their March Madness habits and check how far they are willing to go to watch the tournament when they should be working.

Why it matters

  • Whether we like it or not, March Madness impacts workplace productivity and employee engagement.
  • In an increasingly hybrid workforce, companies need to reconsider their policies and practices around work flexibility and cultural participation to favor a more balanced approach.

Key takeaways

  • Over half of fans surveyed watch March Madness at work (51%)
  • 1 in 5 fans have called in sick to watch March Madness
  • Remote and hybrid workplaces more likely to have March Madness brackets

Over half of fans watch March Madness at work

do you watch march madness at work?

Out of the 2,000 college basketball fans we asked, over half (51%) said they will watch the tournament at work. It appears nothing is stopping Americans from following their brackets live. It may come as no surprise that most March Madness viewers are likely to be working from home. We found that 73% of hybrid workers said they would be watching the tournament while on the job, and 61% of remote workers will be tuning in. Over half of on-site workers (57%) said they will be watching.

US workers are wild for the NCAA tournament, with 63% saying they fill out a bracket with their colleagues. Bosses are just as excited as their employees for the competition. Just 2% of fans that we quizzed said they had been reprimanded for watching March Madness at work. One in five fans (19%) have called in sick, so that they can watch the action.

Technology is a godsend for college basketball fans. Nearly a quarter of the country’s workforce (23%) said they will catch the tournament on their phones while at work. Nearly half will watch on a work computer (44%). Ten percent will share the experience on a TV in the workplace.

Workers from the finance, hospitality, and IT/software industries are most likely to catch the action throughout the working day. In fact, nearly half of the country’s workforce who watch on the job (49%) admitted that watching the college basketball tournament violates their company’s policy. If there’s basketball to be watched, the US workforce is finding a way to catch it!

Who’s watching hoops?

states most likely to watch march madness at work

Indiana and North Carolina are the two states with the highest proportion of fans tuning in for the NCAA tournament. Both states have strong college basketball roots, which may be why 64% of people from each of those states say they’ll be watching the action next month. Fans from Kansas are just as eager to watch college basketball, with 61% admitting they will be putting it on. They’ll be keen to relive the glory of 2022 this time around.

Only UCLA has won more NCAA basketball tournaments than Kentucky in the history of the competition. Out of all 50 states in the country, Kentucky has the fifth-highest percentage of people tuning in (57%).

Virginia is the state with the lowest proportion of college basketball viewers, with just a quarter of people surveyed from Old Dominion saying they will be watching the tournament.

America’s workforce is plugged in for March Madness

Employers be warned: the NCAA tournament has a huge impact on the United States’ workplace productivity and employee engagement. In this era of hybrid working, companies need to reconsider their policies and practices around work flexibility and cultural participation to favor a more balanced approach. No matter what, Americans will find a way to watch the games.


In February 2024, we surveyed 2,000 American college basketball fans about their viewing habits around the NCAA tournament. The median age of the people we surveyed was 37. Of those people we quizzed, 69% were men, 31% were women.

About the Author

Erica Prush

Erica is a Content Strategist with over 5 years of experience in marketing, media, and public relations. She has worked with top brands such as United Way, Staples, and Forbes Advisor, and her work has been featured in major publications including The Washington Post, Business Insider, and Psychology Today. She holds a degree in English from Binghamton University.