Sister Jean says it’s go time. And we never argue with Sister Jean.

Because you never argue with a Chicago nun.

But we don’t need to be afraid of Sister Jean — or of rogue yardsticks: There is championship basketball on our screens and the Fourteenth Kind Of Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Piper’s Pub*) is underway.

As I do every year, this is the post where our picks are revealed and we all begin the painful public shame and humiliation of sports prognostication — and for one lucky contestant, never-ending glory and $50 for drinks and food at the legendary Piper’s Pub. So — who ya got?

As is tradition, we begin with Yours Truly:

Gonzaga and Michigan on one side of the bracket and Houston and … wait for it … Ohio State on the other. Title game is the Zags and my Buckeyes. And the champion? Gonzaga is this season’s Team Of Destiny — but the Buckeyes are winning the title. And they’ll win by a score of 74-68.

Next we have the contestant I’m rooting for: Mrs. Crappy:

Gonzaga vs. Alabama, Purdue vs. Illinois. Illinois beats the Zags for the championship, 82-79.

And now, the rest of yinz guys, pretty much in no particular order:

Strang, who isn’t rolling with her hometown Bonnies:

Final Four: Houston, Texas, Iowa, Ohio State. Championship Game: Houston vs. Texas Winner: Houston (80-77)

Morgantown Socialist Joe:

Final Four: Gonzaga, BYU, Arkansas, West Virginia National Championship: Gonzaga, West Virginia Winner: Gonzaga Tiebreaker: 136

Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl, Esq.:

My FKOAUCNFFC (BTYBPP*) picks as selected by pulling my sweet sixteen selections out of a hat: Final Four: Baylor v. WVU, Kansas v. Texas Semi-finals: Kansas v. WVU National Champion: WVU

Aunt Annoyed Angel, who’s been doing this for as long as I have:

Ok, here goes. Final 4: Gonzaga/Alabama, Ohio State/Tennessee. Final 2: Alabama v Ohio State. Winner: Alabama. 73-68I’m well aware that one side of my bracket is very family & personal preference influenced… I just couldn’t get past it no matter how I tried. 😂

And this is a first in the long and storied history of AUCNFFC: Entries from an entire family: AAA’s sister Lianne and the kids who bestowed upon AAA that first A: C and G Haviland.

Lianne:

Ok- here is my info- Final four- Oregon, Baylor, Alabama, Illinois Champ game: Illinois vs Baylor Champion: Illinois (75-68)

Miss C:

final four: Gonzaga, Baylor, Colorado, Houston. Champ game- Gonzaga vs Baylor. Champion- Gonzaga (83-79).

Mister G:

final four- Gonzaga, Baylor, LSU, TN. Champ game: TN vs Gonzaga. Champion- Gonazaga (87-82)

My question for AAA and Lianne: Do the kids have to take you guys out for dinner if one of them wins?

Next up: Cleveland Kelsey, who is as much of a homer as your Uncle Crappy:

FKOAUCNFFC (BTYBPP*)! Final Four: Ohio State, M!ch!g@n, Iowa, West Virginia. OSU/scUM in the championship. OSU wins 72-71

Red Buppy:

Gonzaga over Michigan. West Virginia over Villanova. Gonzaga 71, West Virginia 63. (If this looks like I haven’t paid any attention to college basketball this season, it’s because I haven’t.)

Kewyson, who apparently discovered brevity somewhere between 2019 and 2021:

With Covid rules in play, one never knows – but I stuck with the tried and true (and no Duke Blue) –
M*ch*gan / Iowa – with the Team up North prevailing
Illinois / Baylor – with Illinois coming through with the win
Final victor goes to Illinois – 87 – 83

Styx 4 Curl Girl, another contestant who’s been doing this for a very long time:

Final four: Gonzaga vs. Alabama, Ohio St. vs. Houston
Championship: Alabama vs. Ohio St.
Champion: Alabama
Tie Breaker: 78-72

Good luck everyone!

What does Chachi say? Chachi Says:

Gonzaga v Texas
Houston v Baylor

Final
Gonzaga v Baylor

Gonzaga 86-79

No Cardinals and no Panthers? No problem for Calipanthergrl:

I have watched like 20 minutes of MCBB this entire season. But I’m in! Here are my entirely laughable picks: USC/Michigan & Syracuse/Purdue. Michigan/Purdue. Michigan (84-73)

My #CnCShow partner Carla knows college football. Does she know college hoops as well?

Gonzaga / Alabama Baylor / Illinois Gonzaga / Illinois Illinois wins 82-78

And, for the record, I have Ohio in the Sweet 16.

Hey, me too!

Next up is Dudders, the baddest woman in all of Pittsburgh:

I would like to join that basketball event you host each year! I like to randomly pick teams and not do any research. Final Four: Purdue, WVU, Gonzaga, Alabama. Final Two: Gonzaga and Purdue. Gonzaga❤️

She added in a subsequent message that her tiebreaker is 91-88.

My former colleague North Coast Matt:

Final Four:
Gonzaga, Alabama, Houston, Illinois
Championship
Gonzaga vs. Houston
Champion
Gonzaga
total combined score: 157

Your defending AUCNFFC champ, the Sports Chump:

Against my better judgment, I’m going chalk. Give me all number one seeds in the Final Four.

Illinois, Gonzaga, Baylor and Michigan with Gonzaga beating Baylor in the final game 82-67.

But what do I know?

Pgh Rugby Ref has taken over Kewyson’s claim to the most-verbose contestant each year:

The day the brackets came out I completed one quickly, without any research or thought (other than no number 1s in the Final Four). After I looked at my selections, I figured there was no chance of winning (hell, I might even Blutarsky). All week I had the intention of putting in some effort for a real bracket (I’m sure you know about intentions and what road it paves). It’s a little more than an hour before deadline, and no extra work has gone into selections, so you get my original choices:
Virginia over Colorado
West Virginia over Arkansas
Virginia
Final score total 124

A blast from the past: M Fulk:

Hey, why not?

Final Four: Kansas vs. Alabama, Purdue vs. West Virginia
Championship: Alabama vs. Purdue
Champion: Alabama
Tie Breaker: 80-85

Spoon, on behalf of his basketball-playing boys:

Kids picked this one. I’ll think about getting them Piper’s if we win.

Final Four: Gonzaga vs. Alabama, Ohio St. vs. Clemson
Championship: Alabama vs. Ohio St.
Champion: Ohio St.
Tie Breaker: 77-75

Susan, who did, in fact, get in just under the wire:

Hopefully getting in under the wire: Iowa, Michigan, Ohio St, Ilinois. Michigan/Ohio St. Michigan. 151. Please do not reject based on my winner.

Dish, who is an actual person and not a restaurant on the South Side:

Gonzaga over Alabama, Illinois over Arkansas. Gonzaga over Illinois, 83-77. I did at least 90 seconds of research for this!

My Penn State friends are partial to hockey and football, but TraiLion paid more attention to the Lions’ hoops season this year than she would probably admit. Her picks:

Ohio State over Illinois, Iowa over Michigan, Iowa over Ohio State (sorry). 112 points.

The lion’s spouse JCK158:

Gonzaga over FSU, Baylor over Illinois, Gonzaga over Baylor, 158.

It’s excellent when you guys provide me with your own nicknames. Right, Scooter (38 seconds from being defending champions)?

Gonzaga, Alabama, Baylor and Illinois
Gonzaga and Baylor
Baylor
150
F the Mutant Twins

As to Scooter’s final comment: If you know, you know.

And finally, we have Juan, oh he of little basketball knowledge. He is entered each and every year against his will (or, at least, without his awareness); I couldn’t find picks from Phil’s Mom, so we’re going with the virtual version of the Penny-Flipping Method — ESPN’s random bracket generator. And while it’s not going to win him a damn thing, I’m going to be pulling for these picks anyway:

To be clear, this is my Bobcats vs. Texas Southern on one side and Purdue vs. Liberty on the other. And in what would be a championship matchup for the ages, Purdue will beat OU in the title game. And no, I’m not picking a tiebreaker. C’mon now.

And there you go, boys and girls. I have to say that I’m disappointed that I didn’t get any TikTok entries; that might be a thing we’ll work on for 2022. As is always the case, if I missed your entry, it’s nothing personal — I’m just an idiot. Let me know and I’ll add you to the list. Let’s all enjoy the hell out of the hoopage. And good luck to everyone. Especially me Mrs. Crappy.

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