TPAUCNFFC (BTYBPP) has tipped off.

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The tournament has begun, and things are … intense. Right, coach?

I appreciate your patience while Mrs. Crappy and I took in a Jeff Tweedy show in Indianapolis earlier this week. Without further ado, let’s get into all of the entries for Thirteenth Practically Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Piper’s Pub). Note that you will see that some teams in our picks have already been eliminiated; on Monday, I’ll go through the list and assess where we all stand.

As is tradition we begin, as usual, with me:

Sparty beats Florida State, and UNC beats Virginia. And in the title game, the Izzoheads beat Roy’s boys, 74-70.

And then, the rest of yinz guys, in no particular order. First up is noted Morgantown Democratic Socialist Joe:

Final Four: Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Kentucky

National Championship: Michigan State, Kentucky National

Champion: Kentucky Tiebreaker: 133

Faithful AUCNFFC participant Otimemore, who still occasionally lives in Pittsburgh:

Final Four
Duke vs Gonzaga; North Carolina vs Tennessee

Final
Duke vs UNC

Winner
Duke 75-68

First-timer (I think) Expatpghgirl:

Final 4 – Duke, Syracuse, Villanova, North Carolina

Championship Game – Duke, North Carolina

Champion – North Carolina (79-74).

OG AUCNFFC player AAA:

Duke – Gonzaga
Tennessee – North Carolina
Final – Duke & Tennessee
Winner Tennessee, 86-61

Here’s an old Twitter nickname — Dr. Scooter:

F4: Mich St/Nevada, Purdue/UNC

Title: Mich St/UNC

Champ: UNC 92-84

Kewyson‘s annual opus references my Globetrotters question:

Although with a lifetime record of 26,000+ wins to 6 losses, I didn’t even see the Globetrotters in the #16 play in games. So I will stay local to my abode (play the odds) – I have Duke playing Purdue (both Virginia and Tennessee will fall) and North Carolina playing M*ch#g!n.

In the final I have the 4th Battle of the Blues of the year – Duke vs. UNC. With Coby’s electrifying pink shoes helping UNC to beat Duke and Zion’s reinforced Nikes. UNC 84 / Duke 81.

Quick summary for your ease:
Duke vs. Purdue; M*ch#g!n vs. UNC
Duke vs. UNC; UNC 84, Duke 81

I know for a fact that Redbuppy would make good use of a $50 Piper’s Pub gift card:

Let’s go with Gonzaga and Villanova losing in the semifinals, and Duke beating Kentucky, 81-73, in the final.

I didn’t ask defending AUCNFFC champ Breaking Brews if he used all $50 at last year’s Imperial Breakfast. But he’s still alive, so I’m guessing he’s smarter than that.

Are you ready? Here’s how it’s done: Michigan State vs. FSU Tennessee vs. North Carolina. Michigan State vs. North Carolina. North Carolina. Screw Duke!!!!!!

Lorenzo:

Duke Michigan Virginia Kentucky. Duke Kentucky. Duke. 77-74.

The Sports Chump is back:

Duke over Michigan, Virginia over Houston.

Let’s go with Duke over Virginia by a score of 88-76 in the Final game.

Happy March, everyone!

Curl Girl Michelle has been doing this forever (and nearly won last year):

Final Four: LSU v Texas Tech, Virginia v. Kentucky

Championship game: LSU v Kentucky

Champion: Kentucky, 77-60

PghRugbyRef is channeling his inner Kewyson with his two-part entry. Here’s part one:

This post inspired me to start my predictions, as Sweet Georgia Brown (Teddy Riley Remix) played in the background I looked at the bracket and started selecting teams. As the song ended, I got to my Final Four:

Virginia Tech v Michigan
Wisconsin v Houston

And part two:

Ok, I have some time to work on this:

Michigan v Houston

Houston 133 total points

Thank you (and Piper’s Pub) for doing this again. I look forward to it every year.

HP from Lakewood, with the first-ever AUCNFFC photographic entry:

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Ethel, probably from her shiny new kitchen:

Final Four: Michigan State, Syracuse, Cincinnati, North Carolina
Final: Michigan State vs. North Carolina
Winner: North Carolina
Points: 122

Ohio State and Browns/Cavs/Tribe fan Kelsey:

I like . That said, I think the final 4 will be a battle of the mitten (UM vs MSU) and Wisconsin vs Kansas. I predict Sparty will beat Kansas 74-68!

Scooter from the Land of Suburban Shooting Guards:

Duke, the Rats from the North, UNC, UVA

Duke beats the Rats; UVA beats UNC

Duke 71, UVA 65

F Burris

(Editor’s note: Huh. I wonder what he means by that last thing?)

Sara Without An H:

Final Four
Duke vs Gonzaga; North Carolina vs Tennessee

Final
Gonzaga vs UNC

Winner
Gonzaga 82-79

Lunchbox Birdshit‘s basetball entry:

Duke/Gonzaga and Wisconsin/UNC

Gonzaga beats UNC, 88-85

Finally, we have Juan, oh he of little basektball knowledge. He is entered each and every year against his will (or, at least, without his approval); I couldn’t find picks from Phil’s Mom, so we’re going with the Penny-Flipping Method.

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And so we all understand my absolutely shameful handwriting:

LSU/Arizona State and Iowa/Georgia State

Arizona State beats Georgia State in the title game. I don’t think we’re going to worry about a tiebreaker.

And that’s what I have, boys and girls. 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. Hope you’ve enjoyed the games so far. And good luck to everyone. Especially me.

one hour.

When the big hand AND the little hand are on 12, I need to have your entries for Thirteenth Practically Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Piper’s Pub) in hand.

As I said yesterday, our In Real Life activities will prevent me from posting our entries until tomorrow, so I’ll post my choices now, in the interest of transparency.

Sparty beats Florida State, and UNC beats Virginia. And in the title game, the Izzoheads beat Roy’s boys, 74-70.

So let’s hear from you, kids. Remember: free, easy and $50 in goodies at Piper’s Pub for the winner.

the hoopage has (sort of) begun.

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First — DON’T PANIC.

The NCAA has finally figured out a decent nomenclature for its play-in games, and those games — the First Four — have started.

But if you’ve been doing this for a while, you’ll recall that the play-in games — or First Four, or whatever — never play a part in Thirteenth Practically Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Piper’s Pub).

What do I need? An entry, from you, by noon Thursday. Follow these helpful formatting suggestions and you’ll be fine.

We’ll have to do something a little differently this year as well. Mrs. Crappy and I will be on the road on Thursday, and that’s going to make it tough to assemble and post the usually lengthy roundup of our entries. What I will do is make sure I post my entries and those of Mrs. Crappy — if she chooses to participate — here before the games begin. Transparency and all that.

And remember, boys and girls — there isn’t an easier hoops pool out there, and you — yes, you — could win $50 to spend as you please at Piper’s Pub.

*insert whistling here*

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If the Harlem Globetrotters were a college basketball team, where would they be seeded in the NCAA tournament?

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It’s hard to say. But the record, you have to admit, is pretty solid.

Fortunately, those of us entering Thirteenth Practically Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Piper’s Pub) don’t have to worry about such things. Hell, we don’t even have to worry about coming up with a couple bucks to enter — because it’s free.

What do you have to worry about? Picking a Final Four, two finalists and a champion. And then telling me about it before noon on Thursday. Sure, there are some other details, but it’s really that simple — and there is a $50 gift card at Piper’s Pub for the winner. So if you like, you know, food and beer and stuff like that, you should enter.

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C’mon, people. You know you wanna.

how it’s done.

B10 Michigan Michigan St Basketball
Note the nearly perfect Surrender Cobra in the background. It’s hard being a basketball school.

Late last week, I announced the return of the Thirteenth Practically Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Piper’s Pub), because I wanted all of yinz to be prepared once we got our first looks at the brackets.

Now that we’ve accomplished that, let’s take a look at how TPAUCNFFC (BTYBPP) works, for the hoards of you who have never done this before.

Find yourself a copy of the bracket. If you can’t manage that, I should probably disqualify you from the TPAUCNFFC (BTYBM) right now. But I’m feeling generous, so here’s one you can fill out, print or save as a .pdf. Print it and fill it out, using whatever method you prefer.

You don’t need to submit to me the entire thing; in fact, I’d rather you didn’t. What I do need is your picks for the Final Four, the championship game and the eventual champion. 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 among 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: North Dakota State vs. Montana, Gardner-Webb vs. Abaline-Christian

Championship game: NoDak State vs. Abaline-Christian

Champion: NoDak State, 82-74

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.

And 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. Note: We do NOT follow the Price Is Right rule; the closest total, over or under, wins.

And the usual reminders:

  • There is no entry fee.
  • I need your picks (via Twitter, FB, text, email or any other communication method available) by noon Thursday.
  • We’re playing for a $50 gift card from Piper’s Pub (or, if you’re out of town, plain old fifty American dollars).
  • This is the easiest hoops pool you’ll enter all year.

And now, it’s official, boys and girls — entries are open. I hope to hear from you soon.

 

ok. fine.

North Carolina v Duke

The traffic on Uncle Crappy always seems to bump up a bit about the middle of March, even when I haven’t posted anything here in … let’s see … JESUS CHRIST, NOT SINCE LAST YEAR’S TOURNAMENT ENDED.

Sigh.

I am no longer good at this blogging thing — mostly because that part of my brain is currently occupied by newsletters — but I think I can still run a pretty decent college basketball pool.

(Note: I’m going to be a terrible college basketball bettor this year — as in, even worse than usual — because my only real interest has been in making sure Zion Williamson is healthy when the Cavs draft him in June)

So. Here is your formal announcement of the Thirteenth Practically Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Piper’s Pub), or what we’ll refer to as TPAUCNFFC (BTYBPP).

If you’ve done this before you know the drill. And if you haven’t (or if you need a refresher)? I present … the drill:

  • Once the tournament is set on Sunday, find yourself a copy of the bracket. If you can’t manage that, I should probably disqualify you from the TPAUCNFFC (BTYBPP) right now. Print it and fill it out, using whatever method you prefer.
  • 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 Minneapolis.
  • 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 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. Note: We do NOT follow the Price Is Right rule; the closest total, over or under, wins.

Still confused? I’ll be back on Monday with examples, along with a series of nagging posts to make sure I get as many entries as possible. Until then, 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, TPAUCNFFC (BTYBPP) 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 my beloved Bocktowns have since closed — one very big factor in the decision to take a year off — I am putting up a similarly Actually Fabulous Prize — a $50 gift card at Piper’s Pub, on Pittsburgh’s Historic South Side. And I make this promise without any actual knowledge if Piper’s actually offer gift cards. Whatever. We’ll figure it out.
  • 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 on Thursday, March 21; 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. Carrier pigeon. 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, not unlike this example from a year ago.

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 Piper’s 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 Piper’s gift card (as long as she uses it to take me to dinner).

To summarize:

  • Free.
  • Easy.
  • Deadline is noon Thursday.
  • Fifty bucks at Piper’s for the winner.

Have any questions? Let me know. Otherwise, good luck to everyone — especially me Mrs. Crappy.