Thad says you should give it a try. AND THERE'S NO WAY THAT'S A FOUL.

As much fun as I had watching Ohio State and OU win their respective conference championships, the real fun is about to begin — it’s time for the Fifth Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge.

The regulars know the drill, but I’m hopeful, as always, we’ll have some newcomers to join the fun; with them in mind, let’s take a brief stroll through the instructions, in handy list form:

  1. Find yourself a copy of the bracket. This shouldn’t be hard, but if you’re having trouble — and in deference to our favorite Yahoo employee —  Yahoo has a nice PDF version here.
  2. Pick the four teams — one from each region — you think will win their regional championship and travel to the Final Four in Indianapolis.
  3. After consulting your bracket, pick the two teams you think will win the national semi-final games on April 3.
  4. Of those two two semi-final winners, pick who you think will win the championship game on April 5.
  5. We’ve had some tight finishes in the past so I’m going to modify the scoring a bit this year. A correct Final Four pick gets a point. A correct semi-final pick gets two. A correct pick in the title game gets three. The entry with the highest point total at the end is our winner.

Using this year’s bracket, here’s a completely hypothetical — and highly unlikely — example of what your entry might look like:

Final Four: Lehigh vs. Vermont/East Tennessee St. vs. Robert Morris
Championship: Vermont vs. Robert Morris
Champion: Robert Morris

As always, you’re encouraged to supplement your picks with whatever
explanations or smack you feel like tacking on (examples are here). Get your picks to me by noon Thursday — when the first-round games begin — via email, comment or smoke signal, and I’ll have them all posted here Thursday afternoon for everyone to see.

The best parts? It’s free! And we’re competing for Fabulous Prizes,* hand-selected by Uncle Crappy!

And so we’re all clear on one thing — Juan, oh he of very little basketball knowledge or interest, will be entered against his will for the fourth year in a row. If we can find the picks of Phil’s Mom, we’ll use those; if not, we’ll use the penny-flipping method that earned Juan exactly zero points a year ago.

And if you don’t know about Phil’s Mom, here’s my standard explanation:

Now — what’s with this Phil’s Mom thing? Uncle Crappy’s infatuation with Monday Night Football color guy and occasional radio host Tony Kornheiser is well-documented, and the mother of Phil “The Showkiller” Ceppaglia, who served as the producer for Kornheiser’s radio show when it was on ESPN, has been a fixture during tournament time for several years. She’s usually relied upon to provide a little comic relief, because she knows absolutely nothing about basketball, but a few years ago, Phil’s Mom shocked the world by picking George Mason to win it all. GM nearly did, making it to the Final Four and making Phil’s Mom a folk hero.

If you have other questions, please feel free to get in touch. If not, get your entries to me by noon Thursday, and we’ll get the fun underway.

*Prizes not actually fabulous. Unless Uncle Crappy wins his own contest.


    1. Holy crap! If you’re kicking in a prize, I’m going to have to change the disclaimer, because at least one prize will actually be fabulous. Thanks!


  1. I’m slightly angry cuz I sent in my answers earlier, and they didn’t post! GRRRRR… Now I have to recall what I posted. Barf.


  2. Are you saying Bobby Mo can’t win it all? That’s like saying Jesus Christ can’t hit a curveball.

    Final Four: Kansas vs. Syracuse/Kentucky vs Duke
    Championship: Kansas vs. Kentucky
    Champion: Kentucky

    I want Kentucky to win so I can see Ashley Judd bouncing around. boing boing boing


    1. I didn’t say it couldn’t happen. I said it was highly unlikely.

      Also: I couldn’t help but notice that you picked all the 1 seeds. No Colonials in your Final Four?


  3. Kansas vs. Syracuse/Kintuck vs. Baylor
    Kansas vs. Kintuck

    P.S. (Unrelated but interesting info that UC would enjoy) I found a long lost box of homebrew in the basement last night, and enjoyed a 10 year old Porter. Yum-yum.


  4. Final Four: Kansas/Syracuse and WVU/Villanova
    Final: Kansas/WVU
    Champ: Kansas

    Also, I’ll throw in a year subscription to the (Sewickley) Valley’s only newspaper, the Sewickley Herald, as a prize! :)


  5. FINAL FOUR: Kansas vs Kansas State & Villanova vs WVU

    FINALS: Kansas vs Villanova

    CHAMP: Kansas

    I can taste the fries now.


  6. OK. I’m still not happy with this, but I’m tired of analyzing this darn thing. Here we go:

    Kansas vs. Syracuse / West Virginia vs. Duke
    Kansas vs. WVU


  7. No real method here….

    Final Four: Kansas vs. Kansas St. / Kentucky vs. Villanova
    Championship: Kansas vs. Villanova
    Champion: Villanova


  8. Why won’t this stupid thing take my picks? Here I go again:

    Final Four: Ohio State/Syracuse & Kentucky/Duke
    Ohio State/Duke
    Champ: Duke


  9. Okay, I’m back again this year. Last year I got pounded, but my gut has a feeling…

    Kansas/Syracuse and WVU/Baylor


  10. OK, haven’t looked at anyone else’s, including Obama’s. Here is mine:
    OSU vs. Syracuse and Kentucky vs. Baylor
    Final: Syracuse vs. Kentucky
    Kentucky wins


  11. My dog’s picked sucked last year, so I asked my cat and he licked his ass. And then I asked my other cat and she said ladybugladybugladybug. So back to the dog (this takes forever, by the way, so I did the 1st round picking and just had him narrow it down).

    Syracuse vs Kansas; WVU vs Villanova
    Kansas vs WVU


  12. Go Hope!

    OSU vs. Kansas State / Duke vs. Kentucky
    OSU vs. Kentucky
    (that’s for you Fred).


  13. Final Four: OSU vs Syracuse/Kentucky vs Louisville
    Championship: Syracuse vs. Kentucky
    Champion: Kentucky


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