Fans gear up for NCAA tournament!

(WJLA) - American University’s faithful fans painted their war faces in Mary Graydon Hall. Half a continent away, the Eagles engaged in a round-ball battle against the Wisconsin Badgers – only the third time ever the Eagles have been invited to an NCAA tournament.

So the fans are cancelling everything to be here.

March Madness has much of the country in what can only be described as the annual basketball flu. Some wouldn’t appear on camera as they called in sick, but others are still taking late lunches and cancelling business trips.

A leading staffing company estimates that $1.2 billion is lost to employers in unproductive work hours during March Madness. But their losses are banner gains at sports pubs like the Greene Turtle downtown.

It’s an intoxicating tournament because employees can now BYOD, or “Bring Your Own Device,” to work. Instead of getting caught watching games on their desktops, employees stream games on their devices.

Modis Staffing found that nearly 40-percent of IT professionals said their networks lagged or stalled in 2012, and now companies are fighting back. Just shy of 50-percent of them are not blocking devices from any link to March Madness or throttling back bandwidth.

And that just may mean more March Madness “flu infections” next year.