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
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).
- 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.