battered brackets.

I put a spell on you...

I put a spell on you…

We’re a few hours away from the resumption of the NCAA tournament, so now would be a good time to take a quick look at how we’re all faring in the Tenth Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought to you by Bocktown).

We can’t do official standings, because we don’t start awarding points until we have a Final Four, but we can take a look at we’re all faring in general — and how many of us are screwed by the collapse of the upper seeds in the East and South regions (thanks for nothing, Virginia and Iowa State).

All four picks remain (Yinz are sittin’ pretty):

  • Father Spoon
  • Bluzdude
  • Calipanthergrl
  • Saylor

Three teams left, plus intact title games and champions (Definitely still alive):

  • Uncle Crappy
  • AAA
  • Curl Girl Michelle
  • SportsChump
  • Jaci Dean
  • Burgh Baby
  • Kewyson
  • PghRugbyRef
  • Tom Bickert
  • Abby
  • OTimemore
  • Scooter

Three teams plus your champions remain (Not time to panic):

  • Work Kelly
  • Starts with Dish
  • Jim H.
  • Joe
  • Michael Fulk
  • Jenny Lee
  • Neilson
  • Jason Cercone
  • Jenn Strang
  • Birdshit

Both title-game teams plus champion remain (Probably not a winner, but not a loser either):

  • Ethel
  • Adam

animalhousebelushi

It’s hard to know for sure, but the folks that remain are in danger of receiving the dreaded Blutarsky Award.

Two teams plus pick for champion:

  • Fred
  • Dana
  • Casey
  • Hoyle
  • Matt
  • Enzo82

Two teams left, but no title game participants:

  • Hellohahanarf
  • AJ
  • Juan

The team you picked to win it all is all that’s left:

  • Daria

The games get started again in a little while. Good luck, yinz guys.

taucnffc (btybb) tipoff.

Another year, more happy Dayton people.

Another year, more happy Dayton people.

On or about this date every March I post what is inevitably the longest post of the year. And that is this one: the one where we go through each and every entry in the Tenth Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought to you by Bocktown).

(Except for the ones that I miss. But we’ll get to that in a little bit.)

So. Let’s start with me:

Generally, I don’t need no stinkin’ Badgers, but in this case, I think the B1G champs are one of a select few that has a reasonable shot at beating Kentucky. Thusly:

Wisconsin beats Kentucky, Gonzaga beats Virginia. And Wisky downs the Dogs in the final, 68-65.

My immediate family members are sitting out TAUCNFFC, but Fred and Ethel are like family, so they’re up next.

Ethel:

Butler v. UNC, Louisville v. Iowa State

Final: UNC v. Louisville

Winner: UNC

Total points: 137

(Banking on UNC winning it all in honor/memory of Dean Smith)

Fred:

Final Four: UK v. Arizona, UVA v. Iowa St.

Final: Arizona v. UVA

Winner: Arizona

Total Points: 96

And now, the rest of yinz guys, in no particular order.

Hellohahanarf (NOTE: BECKY’S ENTRY HAS BEEN CORRECTED BECAUSE UNCLE CRAPPY CAN’T READ):

Kentucky beats Arizona, Iowa State beats Northern Iowa, and the Cyclones beat Kentucky in the final; tiebreaker is 142.

Dana Bee:

ok, let’s do this

Final Four:
Kentucky
Arizona
Villanova
Iowa State

Showdown:
Villanova
Arizona

Winner:
Arizona

Tiebreaker: 143

Adam:

Final Four: Butler vs. Wisconsin, Michigan State vs. Gonzaga
Championship game: Wisconsin vs. Gonzaga
Champion: Wisconsin
Tiebreaker: 123 (64-59)

AAA:

Final four: Kentucky, Duke, Arkansas and Louisville. Final two? Kentucky and Louisville. Winner KY. Points? 134.

Father Spoon:

Final Four – Kentucky, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Robert Morr… I mean Duke
Championship Game – Kentucky vs Duke
Champion – Kentucky
Tie Breaker – 132

While I still have a broken heart over Ashley Judd not taking me up on my offer to stay at my place for the NIT a few years back, I still have to pull for her team.

Work Kelly:

Wisconsin beats Notre Dame, Iowa State beats Louisville.

Wisconsin beats Iowa State, 72-65.

Starts with Dish:

Final Four: Arizona over Kentucky, Virginia over Utah
Championship: Arizona over Virginia
Tiebreaker: 121

The traditional annual Duke upset will be Utah over Duke, with America united in support for a thrilling Utah squad defending America’s honor against those evil blue devils. U-S-A!!!

CFenton23:

FINAL FOUR:
Kentucky (Midwest)
Arizona (West)
Virginia (East)
Iowa State (South)

FINALS
Kentucky over Virginia
139 Total Score

Bonus upset pick for everyone: #14 Eastern Washington over #4 Georgetown and #14 Georgia State over #4 Baylor

Curl Girl Michelle:

Final Four: Kentucky, Arizona, Villanova, Duke

Finals: Kentucky vs. Duke

Winner: Kentucky

Tiebreaker: 132

Chris Humpherys, AKA SportsChump:

Kentucky over Arizona, Duke over Virginia, Kentucky over the Dukies. Combined final score in the big game = 149

Newcomer Jim Hollenbeck (welcome!), who should know that $50 would get him a lot of excellent food at Bocktown even without a single beer (but the choice is his, of course).

OK Unc. Here some picks as good as a teacher’s key…
Final Four: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Villanova, Duke
Semi: Kentucky vs Villanova
Wiener: Kentucky
I’m a recovering alcoholic… So I won’t be going to Bocktown…send me a PB&J sandwich instead.

Fellow former Ohioan Bluzdude:

Here’s my buzzer-beater…
Final Four: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Louisville, Duke
Semi: Kentucky , Duke
Winner Kentucky
game = 124

Fellow Pittsburgh Buckeye Jaci Dean:

Here’s mine:
Final four: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Villanova, Duke
Finals: Kentucky, Duke
Champ: Kentucky
Score: 145

Joe Cernelli:

Final Four: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Virginia, Gonzaga
Championship Game: Kentucky, Virginia
Champion: Kentucky
Tiebreaker: 125

Michael Fulk:

Final Four: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Virginia, Gonzaga
Championship Game: Kentucky, Virginia
Champion: Kentucky
Tiebreaker: 125

Jenny Lee:

Final Four: Kentucky vs. Wisconsin; Duke vs. Villanova

Championship game: Wisconsin vs. Villanova

Champion: Wisconsin

Tiebreaker: 147

Hoyle13:

Kentucky
Arizona
Virginia
Iowa St.

Kentucky
Iowa St

Kentucky

Tiebreaker: 130 points

Burghbaby:

Final Four: Kentucky vs Arizona, Villanova vs. Gonzaga
Then it’s Kentucky vs Gonzaga
Champs: Kentucky
Tiebreaker: 136

Matt Noonan, whose East Coast, anti-college-athletics bias is showing:

Final Four: Kentucky vs. Arizona, Iowa State vs. Villanova
Championship game: Kentucky vs. Iowa State
Champion: Kentucky
Tiebreaker: 142

A team of NBA prospects beats a team with an NBA style offense to prove the uselessness of the college basketball.

Kewyson!

short on time – no commentary –
Kentucky / Wisconsin w the Badgers prevailing
Duke / Villanova w the Blue Devils winning
Duke over Wisconsin 162

A confident Tom Bickert:

I’m going to go with Kentucky vs. Arizona (sort of Yinzer coaching competition) on the left side of the bracket, and Villanova vs. Gonzanga on the right side (because Gonzanga is the only school I see in the tourney with a Z in the name.) From there, I look for Kentucky to take on Gonzanga in the finals. Kentucky will win with a combined final score of 141. I think that covers everything. Let me know when I can pick up the gift card.

PghRugbyRef:

So I had a bracket all set and then you post the link to fivethirtyeight and I fell down that rabbit hole. At least I was at home and didn’t waste any company time. (And I didn’t change my original choices)

Final Four: Maryland, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Gonzaga

Final: Wisconsin, Gonzaga

Champ: Gonzaga, 176 points.

Thanks again to you and Bocktown!

Calipanthergrl:

this is the first I’ve reviewed a bracket and I gave it 2 min of consideration, but here we go: KY, AZ, OK and Gonzaga. AZ vs OK in final. AZ wins. 122 final combined.

I think Abby has created a new verb:

ok, I’m gonna sports now: Indiana, N Carolina, Oklahoma, Gonzaga … OK over NC. 73-64.

AJ:

Kansas, Duke, UVA, Baylor. Kansas and UVA championship. UVA champion. 135 tiebreaker.

Enzo82:

I need in on this. Kentucky, Arizona, N Iowa, Iowa St. Kentucky, Iowa St. Kentucky. 127

Neilson:

UK, WIS, VILL, DUKE
UK, VILL
UK
131

Jason Cercone:

UK, Wisc, VA, Gonzaga / UK, VA / UK. 151. Chalk me up on the big board, Mr. Costanza!

Otimemore:

Kentucky Ariz Okla Iowa St.
Kentucky Okla
Kentucky
127

Daria:

Butler/Baylor/Villanova/Duke, Duke over Butler 78-77

Saylor:

Figured i’ll throw my hat in the TAUCNFFC ring. Kentucky, Arizona, Louisville, Gonzaga. Kentucky over Louisville 89-84

Carla, whose picks might possibly include an unwritten upset of Dook by Robert Morris:

I’m in.

Kentucky-Arizona, Virginia-Iowa State
Kentucky-Iowa State
Kentucky
132

Scooter:

Let’s go chalk….

Kentucky v. Wisconsin, UVA-Duke

Kentucky-Duke

Kentucky

145

Jenn Strang:

Final Four: Wisconsin vs. Kentucky, Gonzaga e vs. Virginia

Championship game: Kentucky vs. Virginia

Champion: Kentucky

Tiebreaker: 131

Will, aka Lunchbox, aka Birdshit:

Final Four: Kentucky vs. Arkansas and Michigan St vs Gonzaga
Championship game: Arkansas vs Gonzaga
Champion: Gonzaga
Tiebreaker: 107

This information is based on almost nothing aside from the fact I like the name Gonzaga. I had the cast of Mamas Family in the Final Four before I realized what basketball was.
I CAME TO PLAY.

And as we always do, we close with Juan, oh he of very little basketball knowledge. I was able to track down the picks of Phil’s Mom this year … and they don’t completely suck:

Providence beats Gonzaga, Xavier beats Butler, and Providence beats Xavier in the final.

(No, there’s no tie-breaker. Juan will lose big or win big, and no one else will be close in either case.)

And that’s everyone’s picks, yinz guys. Standard caveat: I almost always overlook someone’s picks in the rush to get this posted; if you have suffered this indignity, let me know and I’ll correct the problem right away.

Thanks to Chris and Bocktown for their participation once again – it’s always nice to be able to offer fabulous prizes that are actually fabulous. And most of all, thanks to you guys, for entering, for reading and for enabling me to continue this thing (AUCNFFC) for 10 years and this other thing (Uncle Crappy the blog) for even longer. Good luck to all – especially me.

twenty four.

24-Complete-Series-Box-Art

That’s about how many hours you have left to enter the Tenth Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought to you by Bocktown).

I’m starting to see a trickle of entries, but when compared with this point in past years, we’re looking at a pretty sparse field. I mean, someone’s going to win a $50 Bocktown gift card — it might as well be you.

(Or Mrs. Crappy. That would be OK too.)

Here’s the standard summary: It’s free. It’s easy. And there’s $50 in food and drink for the winner. You’ll find all the rules right here.

No, Kiefer Sutherland won’t hunt you down if you fail to enter. But fifty bucks buys a lot of beer cheese-and-bacon fries, boys and girls.

numbers don’t lie.

crumpled

I gather from the dearth of Tenth Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought to you by Bocktown) entries that we’re having trouble coming up with the kind of quality picks that would warrant a $50 Bocktown gift card.

The pressure’s on. I get it. And I’m also here to help.

In one of my professional capacities, I spend a little bit of time each week checking out fivethirtyeight.com, the stats blog run by Nate Silver and his staff of fellow geniuses. Sure, when it comes down to it, these folks are simply calculating probabilities of everything from presidential politics to this year’s snowfall in Boston. But they do so with stunning levels of consistency and accuracy, so when they release a bracket that shows the probability of victory for each team in the tournament, it’s maybe worth taking a look at what they have to say about March Madness.

And once you’re done with your analysis, get your TAUCNFFC entry ready to go. Remember: It’s free, it’s easy and the winner gets a $50 Bocktown gift card.

ten years of wasted time.

obama-bracket-2013

Sometimes, the direct ledes are the best ones. Like, say, this: It’s time for the Tenth Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought to you by Bocktown).

Ten. TEN. TEN YEARS. I can barely remember to put on underwear these days, so I’m going to assume that you, like me, can use a refresher as to how these Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenges work, EVEN THOUGH WE’VE BEEN DOING THEM FOR TEN YEARS NOW. Here we go:

  • Find yourself a copy of the bracket. If you can’t manage that, I should probably disqualify you from the TAUCNFFC (BTYBB) right now. But I’m feeling generous, so here’s one, provided by the nice folks who employ me. Print it and fill it out.
  • After consulting your bracket, pick the four teams — one from each region — that you think will win the regional championships and travel to the Final Four in Indy.
  • After consulting your bracket again, pick the two teams you think will win the national semi-final games on April 5.
  • Consult your bracket once more, and pick the team from your semi-finalists who will win the title game April 7.
  • How do I figure out who wins? You get two points for picking a correct Final Four team, four points for a correct semi-finalist and six points for a correct national championship pick. Assuming I can add correctly (and there is no guarantee of that, boys and girls), the entry with the highest point total is our winner.
  • Yes, there is a tie-breaker and, yes, as we’ve seen several times, tiebreakers are important. When you submit your pick, please also include your projected score for the championship game. If it’s necessary, the entry whose total score is closest to the real thing will be our winner (EDIT, March 18: We do NOT follow the Price Is Right rule; the closest total, over or under, wins).

Still confused? Given that I’m writing this in a hurry I’m mostly copying and pasting from past AUCNFFC intros, that’s entirely possible. Here’s a purely hypothetical example of what an entry from this year’s bracket could look like (Note 1: This is NOT my entry. Note 2: These are the lowest seeds in the tournament; if you want to make this your entry, feel free, but do so understanding the risk of being Blutarskied):

Final Four: Hampton vs. Coastal Carolina, Lafayette vs. Robert Morris

Championship game: Coastal Carolina vs. Robert Morris

Champion: Robert Morris

Tiebreaker: 135

Simple, right? As you begin to mull your picks, here are a couple of other things to keep in mind:

  • One thing to make sure you don’t do: Send me money to enter. As has always been the case, TAUCNFFC (BTYBB) is free.
  • In the first four years of the contest, we were competing for cheesy trinkets and I usually included a disclaimer that our FABULOUS PRIZES weren’t actually fabulous. And then Chris at Bocktown Beer and Grill blew that out of the water by putting up a $30 gift card to the contest’s winner. Given that this is kind of special edition of the AUCNFFC, we’re going to up the ante a bit: a $50 Bocktown gift card for the winner.
  • Note: If you’re an out-of-town contestant, you may opt for the equivalent cash value of the gift card, which is, uh, approximately $50.
  • The tournament’s real games (the ones that used to be called the first-round games) get underway around 12:15 p.m. Eastern Thursday; I’m not a huge stickler, but I’ll need to have your entries by noonish that day for you to be eligible (see the Melo Rule below).
  • How do you enter? Comment. Email. Twitter. DM. Text. Facebook. Smoke signal. Please feel free adding whatever commentary you wish regarding how you arrived at your picks; each entry will be listed in a comprehensive post that’ll show up at some point Thursday.

And finally, the fine-printy things:

The Juan Rule: As is tradition, Juan, oh he of very little basketball knowledge, will once again be entered against his will, using either the Phil’s Mom Method or, if Phil’s mom isn’t picking this year, the Penny-Flipping Method.

The Melo Rule: Should an unforeseen thing happen with a player, a coach or a booster that might, in your opinion, have an impact on your already-completed entry, fear not. You may tinker as much as you like until I close the entries at noon on the tournament’s opening day.

The Crappy Rule: If I were to come out on top of my own contest (and believe me, boys and girls, there is very little chance of that happening), the Bocktown gift card would be awarded to the next runner up (although I retain full bragging rights, which I would exercise almost daily until next year’s contest). Mrs. Crappy, should she remember to get her entry in on time, does her own work and is therefore eligible to win the card (as long as she uses it to take me to dinner).

To summarize:

  • Free.
  • Easy.
  • Deadline is noon Thursday.
  • Bocktown gift card for the winner.

Have any questions? Let me know. Otherwise, good luck to everyone — especially me Mrs. Crappy.