Optical/IP Networks

John Chambers's Bracket

3:25 PM -- Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) CEO John Chambers is a college basketball fan who roots hard for Duke but holds degrees from West Virginia. (He also attended Duke briefly.) And so, during CES in January, I took the opportunity to ask him: If it's Duke against West Virginia for the NCAA men's college basketball championship, who do you root for?

That might sound like a waste of an opportunity, considering one doesn't get to grill Chambers every day. But it was during a reception specifically for the media, and you could say I did it on a dare. Totally worth it. It's the first time I've seen him unable to answer a question.

He's partially off the hook. The way the brackets fell, Duke and West Virginia can't meet in the finals. But they could square off in the Final Four on April 3.

And if they do? Chambers's answer to me, after an agonized silence, was, "I would root for Duke second." — Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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