Every March, I look forward to a reason to jump start my pathetic attempts at blogging, That time is now — yinz guys ready for the Ninth Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought to you by Bocktown)?

Nine years? Holy crap, that’s a long time. But because god knows I need more and more help with my memory these days — and because we seem to have new folks joining us every year — let’s take a look at how we do things here, 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 NAUCNFFC (BTYBB) right now. But I’m feeling generous, so here’s a nice PDF version, provided by the nice folks at CBS. 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 Dallas.
  • 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 saw two years ago, 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 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 understanding the risk of being Blutarskied):

Final Four: Eastern Kentucky vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Weber State vs. Wofford

Championship game: Eastern Kentucky vs. Wofford

Champion: Eastern Kentucky

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, NAUCNFFC (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 — as she’s doing again this year. All together, boys and girls: “Thank you, Chris!” 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 $30.
  • 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 around 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, the 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: 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, 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.


  1. Final four: Florida v. Villanova. – Arizona v. Louisville
    Final Florida v. Arizona
    Champ Arizona (149 pts)


  2. Final Four: Florida vs Iowa State / Baylor vs. Louisville
    Championship: Florida over Louisville (150 points)


  3. FF: Louisville vs. Oklahoma – Kansas vs. UCONN
    Final: Louisville vs. Kansas
    Champ: Kansas
    Tiebreaker: 154


  4. Final Four: Florida v. North Carolina and Arizona v. Louisville
    Championship game: Florida v. Louisville
    Champion: Florida
    Tiebreaker: 161


  5. Final Four: VCU, UVA, Creighton, Duke
    Championship: VCU v Creighton
    Champ: Creighton
    Tiebreaker: 121


  6. Florida, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Louisville
    FL vs Luhvl with FL winning.
    Tiebreaker 142

    Earliest I’ve ever gotten this to you? Yes, I think so.


  7. Final Four: Kansas/Michigan State and Wisconsin/Duke
    Final: Kansas/Duke
    Winner: Duke
    Tiebreaker: 137


  8. Bill Utterback
    Final Four: Syracuse vs. Michigan State/Kentucky vs. Az.
    Final: Michigan State vs. Kentucky
    Winner: Go ‘Cats, for my Dad, a native of Ky. who always believed in UK, except in football, as he was occasionally a wise man.


  9. I’m still waiting for The College of New Jersey to somehow earn a 16-seed one of these years. My main guiding principle is screw Duke. Also picking two Michigan teams to see Uncle Crappy’s head explode.

    Florida over Michigan State
    Michigan over Creighton

    Final: Florida over Michigan (121)


  10. OK – so the stupid dog won’t pick and the cats are idiots, so I had to pick my own final four, then I rolled the papers into balls & threw them across the room. The winner went furthest. Next year, I’m letting the hermit crab pick.

    Final Four: Michigan St vs. Kansas, Wichita St vs. Arizona

    Championship game: Michigan St vs. Wichita St

    Champion: Michigan St

    Tiebreaker: 148


  11. Final Four

    Florida, Michigan St., Louisville, Arizona

    Final: Florida v. Louisville

    Champion: Florida

    Tiebreaker: 142


  12. Final Four
    Florida, Virginia, Arizona and Louisville
    Final: Virginia and Arizona
    Champion: Arizona
    Tiebreaker: 156


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