Posted on: March 24th, 2014 by Jen Mueller

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 7.39.38 AMIf your only conversation goal is getting someone to say one or two words, just about anything can be used as a conversation starter.

If you are actually trying to further a relationship or make a connection, not all conversation starters are equal.

When you’re looking for a productive conversation starter, look at the latest sports topics and headlines.  Sports fandom is so prevalent in the U.S. (and the world for that matter) that you can reach and connect with millions of people just by talking sports.

How does that sound for a productive day at work?

Try these latest NCAA Tournament storylines this week along with the question,  “How’s your bracket looking?”

You’ll see a few repeat names from last week on this list.  They’re still in the news.  It was truly a crazy weekend of college hoops that fans will talk about all week long.


Making News:

  • Warren Buffett
  • Duke
  • Doug McDermott
  • Wichita State
  • Florida

 Why They’re Making News:

  • Billionaire Warren Buffett was part of  a promotion offering a $1 billion prize for a perfect NCAA tournament bracket.  Millions of people attempted to correctly choose the winner of every game and no one managed to do so.  The odds were slim to start, but a couple of huge upsets early ruined many brackets.
  • One of those upsets belonged to No. 14 seed Mercer, the team that beat perennial powerhouse Duke, a No. 3 seed in the tournament.  It was one of 13 upsets in the first weekend of the tournament.
  • Creighton was among the teams upset, losing to Baylor on Sunday night.  Here’s the significance of that game.  Creighton guard Doug McDermott established himself as one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball history, but was held to a season low 15 points.  He is expected to be named player of the year when awards are handed out, but it was a tough way for the senior to end his college career.
  • That Wichita State team we’ve been talking about the last several weeks was in the news because they were the only unbeaten team in men’s college basketball.  They finally lost to Kentucky in their second game of the NCAA tournament.
  • Tournament games resume Thursday night with the Sweet 16 round. Overall No. 1 seed Florida is still alive as are No. 1 seeds Arizona and Virginia.


Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker,  is the sideline reporter for the World Champion Seattle Seahawks. She also works on the television broadcasts for the Seattle Mariners. Jen is the author of Game Time: Learn to Talk Sports in 5 Minutes a Day for Business..  Her step-by-step process makes sports accessible and practical for relationship building in business.  The book is available through Amazon.