Jay Z is cold-calling former players to get help for his $500,000 NCAA Tournament bracket office pool

Jay Z and Mike KyserJamie McCarthy/Getty ImagesJay Z and Mike Kyser (R) are in a $500,000 office pool together.

It’s that time of year when everybody is scurrying to learn as much as possible about 68 men’s college basketball teams as they try to fill out their NCAA Tournament brackets, and that goes for famous people also. The difference is, their brackets often come in a different tax bracket.

ESPN analyst Jay Williams, who won a national title with Duke, was on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” breaking down his picks for the tournament when he recounted a phone call he received out of the blue that gives us a peek into the brackets of the rich and famous.

As Williams tells it, he was walking to his car when he received a call from a number he didn’t recognise. It turned out to be Mike Kyser, the president of Atlantic Records and he needed to see Williams’ bracket “ASAP,” presumably to see which teams Williams picked in the tournament. When Williams informed Kyser that he didn’t have his bracket with him at the moment, the phone call took a hard left turn.

Kyser told Williams that he was in an office pool with Jay Z and they needed help. And how much money is on the line in a Jay Z office pool? $500,000.

Rather than wait for Williams to get someplace where he can send the bracket, Kyser put Jay Z on the phone and as Williams tells it, they three of them spent the next half-hour discussing the bracket.

“Wait a minute,” Williams recalled saying. “I’m about to talk to Jay Z about the bracket? Next thing I know, I am on a 3-way call for a 30-minute-long conversation with Jay Z and Mike Kyser about the bracket and they are asking me about Wichita State. Are you kidding me?!”

Williams did admit that he tried to score a percentage of their winnings should his advice help, but it sounds like they weren’t having it.

Here is Williams telling the story:

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