water slinging.

I have a perfectly good reason to show up on Western Avenue at 5 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Just like some of you guys will have a perfectly good reason run down Western Avenue a few hours later.

Yep. Mrs. Crappy and I are working the Pittsburgh Marathon water station on Western Avenue — the one sponsored by the Humane Society — again on Sunday morning.

If you’re running on Sunday, find us. We’ll be on your right, probably in front of the First Niagara Bank as usual. And to make things even easier…

redhat
From a year ago. Pic by @pantster.

… I’ll be wearing the same stupid bright red Ohio State bucket hat that I always wear.

So as you approach Mile Six, find the guy in the red hat. If you’ve done this before, you already know the line:

Hugs. High fives. And the best water on the course.

Find us on Sunday morning, boys and girls. We want to cheer for you.

dagger.

villanova-unc

It took a last-second three-pointer for Villanova to get past the Tar Heels and win college basketball’s 2015-16 national championship.

AJ didn’t need any last second histrionics to win the Eleventh Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Bocktown). And he didn’t actually need anything in particular to happen in Monday’s championship game; he had already built an insurmountable lead. He was the only one in this year’s AUCNFFC who correctly picked the championship game participants, and by then, it didn’t matter that he picked UNC as the champ; his lead was already too much for anyone else to overcome.

And for that, AJ truly deserves his One Shining Moment (and his $50 Bocktown gift card, which I’ll pick up soon):

As for the rest of us? First — thank you so much for playing. And this year’s tournament seemed to be especially trying (although I seem to complain about it every season), so there’s no shame in a rough performance. You’ve got eleven months to study, boys and girls, and we’ll see you back here next March.

blutarskies, with distinction.

deflated

It seems that I write at least one post every year explaining just how ugly that season’s AUCNFFC (BTYBB) has turned out.

But this year, the Eleventh Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Bocktown) seems to be, uh, extra special.

How special? Only one of us — one, of the 28 who entered — has a chance of picking the correct title game. Twenty of us have earned all the points we’re going to earn.

And 12 of us — 42 percent, by the way — who make up this year’s class of Blutarsky Award winners.

Your standings, with current point totals and potential for additional points next weekend:

Four points (and many more):

  • AJ

Four points (plus four):

  • Curl Girl Michelle
  • Fred
  • The Wee Lad
  • Scooter
  • Noted Television Personality Jim Lokay

Two points (plus four):

  • Uncle Crappy
  • Juan

Four points (and done):

  • Joe Cernelli
  • Dana Bee
  • JD
  • The Bitch Desk
  • Susan

Two points (and done):

  • Mr. Burns
  • Starts With Dish
  • Carla

And now, the moment we all await each March: The naming (and shaming) of our Blutarsky Award Winners.

  • Jenn Strang
  • Sara
  • Enzo
  • Otimemore
  • HP
  • The Sports Chump
  • Ethel
  • Tedwards
  • PghRugbyRef
  • Father Spoon
  • Work Kelly
  • Birdshit

For those still alive, I’ll take a look at the possibilities for future scoring and post something later this week. And for the rest of you: thanks for playing. I hope you got your money’s worth.

crashed and burned.

izzo loses
WHY, TOM — WHYYYYYYY!?!?

The hoopage — and the Eleventh Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Bocktown) — resumes tonight, so this is a good time to take a quick look at how we’re all doing.

And how are we doing? Overall, not as bad as it probably felt last weekend, as we watched upset after upset after upset.

Remember, AUCNFFC (BTYBB) contestants don’t start getting points until teams start making the Final Four. Even so, we can still get a pretty good sense of who’s struggling (Ethel) and who isn’t (Curl Girl Michelle).

Holy crap: All. Four. Teams. In. (Team Statistical Anomaly)

  • Curl Girl Michelle

Title game, champion and third team in (Big point totals could still be in the future)

  • Jenn Strang
  • The Wee Lad
  • Work Kelly
  • HP

Three teams and champion still in (They didn’t pick the title game correctly, but could still rack up some big points)

  • Mr. Burns
  • Dana Bee
  • JD
  • Tedwards

Three teams in, champion out (If things go to hell, these guys could still score enough to win)

  • Joe Cernelli
  • Fred
  • Scooter
  • The Bitch Desk
  • Father Spoon
  • Noted Television Personality Jim Lokay

Title game and champion in (Gotta be perfect to have a chance)

  • Uncle Crappy
  • Otimemore
  • PghRugbyRef

Two teams and champion in (Not ruling them out, but it’s looking tough)

  • Dish
  • Sports Chump
  • Birdshit

Two teams in, not champion (Thank you for playing)

  • Sara
  • Enzo
  • Carla
  • Susan

One team left, but it ain’t the champion (Nice going, Phil’s Mom)

  • Juan

We’re not going to use the term yet, but you probably know what’s coming:

  • Ethel

Good luck this weekend, everyone. I have some family stuff to take care of Sunday and Monday, so look for actual standings — with actual point totals — on Tuesday.

eaucnffc (btybb) tipoff.

It’s only March, but I’m pretty sure that, as always, this will work out to be the longest Uncle Crappy post of 2016. And “this,” of course, is the annual roundup of entries in the Eleventh Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Bocktown).

And, as usual, we start with me.

Texas A&M beats Cal, and UNC beats Sparty.

Mrs. Crappy would be happy with a Carolina win, but the Aggies will take the title, 79-73.

Jenn “Porch Daiquiri” Strang, who once again was the first to enter the contest:

Final Four: Kansas, Texas A&M, Michigan State, Indiana

Championship game: Texax A&M vs Indiana

Champion: Texas A&M 73-71

Multi-year AUCNFFC winner Mr. Burns rejoins us after a three-year absence:

Kansas, North Carolina, Texas A&M, Michigan State // Kansas v Michigan State // Kansas, 74-68.

Fellow Bobcat Sara, who has no LSU Tigers in the tournament:

FF: Kansas v Duke, UK v MSU.

Championship: Kansas v MSU.

MSU 85-79

Sara’s husband Enzo:

Kansas, Texas am, Kentucky, MSU.

Texas am, MSU.

MSU. 139.

AJ, who, like me, has no Buckeyes to back this year:

Nova, A&M, UNC, MSU.

Nova, UNC.

UNC 132

Joe “Had Too Much Too Fast” Cernelli:

FF: Kansas v Oklahoma, UNC v MSU

Final: Kansas v MSU

Champ: MSU 73-67

Ms. Dana “She’ll Make You Toast” Bee:

Final Four: Kansas vs. Oklahoma, N. Carolina vs. Michigan State
Championship Game: Kansas vs. Michigan State
Champion: Kansas, 74-72

Starts With Dish:

Final Four: Kansas over Cincinnati and Michigan State over North Carolina
Championship: Kansas over Michigan State, 69-62
Tournament Highlight: Duke loses to Yale in the Round of 32!

Note: I told Dish that I’d buy him a beer if his Duke/Yale prediction comes true.

Otimemore, whom I know pretty much because of AUCNFFC:

Final 4: Kansas vs Arizona; Kentucky vs Notre Dame
Championship Game: Kansas vs Notre Dame
Champion: Kansas 68-59

HP:

Maryland over Oregon, Virginia over Xavier
Championship Maryland over Virginia 72-64

Highlight? Notre Dame gets spanked. But then again isn’t that *always* a highlight?

My CnC Show co-host Carla:

Final Four: Kansas over Oklahoma. Michigan State over Kentucky.
Title: Michigan State over Kansas, 76-68.

(Go B1G.)

Reluctant B1G fan JD:

Kansas, Oklahoma, UNC, Mich St.

Kansas over Mich St 78-73

Curl Girl Michelle:

Final Four: Villanova vs Oregon and North Carolina vs Virginia

Championship game: Villanova vs Virginia

Champion: Virginia, 78-68

Good luck everyone!!

The Sports Chump:

My Final Four: Kansas, Oregon, Kentucky, Michigan State
My Final Game: Kansas over Michigan State by a final score of 72-62.

Best of luck to all.

Ethel:

Iowa, St. Joe’s, Xavier, MSU;

final St. Joe’s and Xavier; Xavier wins, 66-63.

Fred:

KU, Oklahoma, UNC, MSU;

final UNC and MSU; MSU wins, tiebreaker is 98.

The wee lad Patrick O’Shea:

Kansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Michigan State.

final North Carolina and Kansas, winner Kansas by a score of 73-68

Tedwards:

Kansas v Oregon
Xavier v Virginia

Kansas over Xavier 69-66

PghRugbyRef:

It’s the time of year for me to randomly pick four collegiate basketball programs that I know nothing about, so here goes:

Maryland v Saint Joseph’s
Pitt v Gonzaga

Maryland beats Gonzaga 72-68

Thanks for doing this again, and best of luck to all participants!

Scooter:

Kansas v. Oklahoma
UNC v. Michigan State

Michigan State v. Oklahoma

Michigan State 72-66

The Bitch Desk:

I also don’t follow bball, so these are random choices:

Kansas very Oklahoma
N Carolina v Michigan St

Kansas v Michigan St

Michigan St 67-64

Former champ Father Spoon, who may be slightly delusional:

Virginia vs Kentucky
Kansas vs Oregon

Kentucky beats Oregon 72-69

With the win, Ashley Judd is so overcome with joy she calls me up to go out. We have beers. I take selfies. Life is good.

Almost annual participant Susan:

Iowa, Oklahoma, NC, Michigan St.

Iowa, Mich St. Mich St. 151. Go Big10!

Noted television personality Jim Lokay:

NC, MICHIGAN ST, MD, OKLAHOMA
MICHIGAN ST VA OKLAHOMA
MICHIGAN STATE CHAMPS 65-61

Will, aka Lunchbox, aka Birdshit:

Final Four: UNC-Asheville vs. Duke and Kentucky vs Gonzaga

Championship game: UNC-Asheville vs Gonzaga

Champion: Gonzaga

Tiebreaker: 107

Asheville because I’m going there for vacation this spring, Duke because why not, Kentucky because I love chicken and, as always, Gonzaga because I like the name. I picked Gonzaga as the winner, because I couldn’t pick The Pistol Shrimps, stars of my favorite podcast.

I CAME TO PLAY.

Work Kelly (as opposed to Mrs. Crappy, who was too busy dealing a stomach bug to complete any brackets):

Kansas vs. Duke, West Virginia vs. Virginia

Virginia beats Duke, 82-78

As is tradition, we enter Juan, oh he of very little basketball knowledge, using the picks of Phil’s Mom … and Juan stands to avoid being Blutarskied this year:

UNC vs. Butler. Colorado vs. Baylor.

Colorado beats UNC. Still thinking a tiebreaker won’t be necessary.

And that’s everyone’s picks, yinz guys. Standard caveat: I almost always overlook someone in the rush to get this posted; if you have suffered this indignity, let me know and I’ll correct the problem right away.

Thanks to Chris and Bocktown for their participation once again – it’s always nice to be able to offer fabulous prizes that are actually fabulous. And most of all, thanks to you guys, for entering, for reading and for enabling me to continue this thing (AUCNFFC) for 11 years and this other thing (Uncle Crappy the blog) for even longer.

Good luck to all – especially me.