Aaron Craft can't wait to torture Iona.
Aaron Craft can’t wait to torture Iona.

Sure, my blogging has almost completely gone to hell, but that will never be an excuse for not holding the Eighth Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought to you by Bocktown).

Eight year should be enough time that most of you guys to know the AUCNFFC drill. But we seem to attract new people every year, so it’s worth taking a spin through the setup, in handy bullet-list form:

  • Find yourself a copy of the bracket. If you can’t manage that, I should probably disqualify you from the EAUCNFFC (BTYBB) right now. But I’m feeling generous, so I’m happy to say you can find a nice PDF version, provided by the crack legal team at the NCAA. 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 Atlanta.
  • After consulting your bracket again, pick the two teams you think will win the national semi-final games on April 6.
  • Consult your bracket once more, and pick the team from your semi-finalists who will win the title game April 8.
  • 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 that can be quite an assumption, boys and girls), the entry with the highest point total is our winner.
  • Yes, there is a tie-breaker and, yes, as we saw last year tiebreakers are important. When you submit your pick, please also include your project score for the championship game. If it’s necessary, the entry whose score is closest will be our winner.

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 knowing the risk of being Blutarskied):

Final Four: North Carolina A&T vs. Southern/James Madison vs. Western Kentucky

Championship game: Southern vs. James Madison

Champion: James Madison

Tiebreaker: 130

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, AUCNFFC 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 gift card to the contest’s winner — as she’s doing again this year. All together, boys and girls: “Thank you, Chris!”
  • The tournament’s first-round games get underway around 12:15 Eastern Thursday; I’m not a huge stickler, but I’ll need to have your entries by noon 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 early Thursday afternoon.

And finally, a couple of fine-printy things:

The Juan Rule: As is tradition, Juan 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: I don’t think I’ve ever specified this, so let’s take care of it now. 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 first 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, is 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.


  1. Defending Co-Champion here, ready to defend my half crown.

    Final Four: (1) Louisville vs (3) New Mexico / (2) Georgetown vs (1) Indiana
    Finals: Louisville over Indiana
    Tiebreak:142 points


    1. For the record, I can’t figure out what to do with Ohio State. They could be in for a deep run; they could be in for a problem as soon as the second round.


  2. My picks:

    Final Four: Duke vs. Ohio St. and Kansas vs. Indiana
    Championship: Duke vs. Kansas
    Champion: Kansas
    Tiebreaker: 148

    Good luck everyone!


  3. Final Four: OSU v. St. Louis; Georgetown v. Indiana
    Championship: OSU v/ Georgetown
    Champion: OSU
    Tiebreaker: 142

    Uncle Crappy – I’m with you on OSU, but I feel obligated to pick the bucks in at least one bracket every year; this COULD BE THE YEAR!


  4. OK, here we go.

    My picks are sponsored by Socrates, who said, “Knowledge is knowing that you know nothing.” Or was that Bill and Ted? Anyway…
    Final Four: Duke vs OSU, Kansas vs Indiana
    Semi’s: Duke vs Kansas
    Champion: Kansas
    Tiebreaker: 134


  5. Here we go. Picked totally at random, since I know nothing about basketball.

    Final 4: Louisville & Gonzaga, Kansas St. & Indiana
    Final 2: Louisville & Kansas St.
    Winner: Louisville
    Tie breaker: 157


  6. Disclaimer: I know nothing about basketball (but co-won this last year).

    Final 4: Louisville & Ohio State; Georgtown & Indiana
    Final 2: Louisville & Georgetown
    Winner: Louisville
    Tie Breaker: 127


  7. Disclaimer: I don’t follow college sports and know nothing about basketball. Guesses have been generated with me (A) being half asleep and/or (B) throwing dice.

    Final 4: Louisville & Gonzaga, Florida & Syracuse.
    Final 2: Louisville & Florida
    Winner: Florida (gross. Stupid dice)
    Tie Breaker: 133

    Side note: Technically, dice chose Pitt to get into Final 4, but even I know not to bet on Pitt when it comes to hoops and the NCAA tournament.


  8. Final 4: Duke, Arizona, Kansas, and Indiana
    Final 2: Arizona & Kansas
    Winner: Kansas
    Tie Breaker 132


  9. First-time caller, long-time listener: Love the show!
    Here is my 2-cents worth: Your Final Four will be Louisville vs. Gonzaga (sorry, Ohio State) and Kansas vs. Miami. Louisville and Miami then will clash with Louisville emerging victorious with a combined score of 138.
    Just don’t tell my bookie where I live.


Comments are closed.