it’s blutarsky time.

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I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like the wreckage of Thirteenth Practically Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Piper’s Pub), in terms of how many people we’re going to honor with a Blutarsky Award here in just a sec.

Chalky picks only work if the higher seeds win, and the higher seeds failed to do that last weekend. Carolina. Duke. The Aforementioned Basketball School Up North. All dumped on their keisters before making the Final Four.

So who might win this thing? No one — not a single TPAUCNFFC (BTYBPP) contestants correctly picked the Final Four. But nevertheless, there are a few possibilities:

Four plus (Two correct Final Four picks and the possibility for more points):

  • Uncle Crappy (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA)

Two plus (One correct Final Four pick and the possibility for more points):

  • Socialist Joe
  • Dr. Scooter
  • Breaking Brews
  • Sports Chump
  • Ethel
  • Kelsey
  • The Other Scooter

Four and done (Two correct Final Four picks but no more points possible):

  • Curl Girl Michelle

Two and done (Two correct Final Four picks but no more points possible):

  • Lorenzo
  • HP

Before we move on, boys and girls, I would ask that you recall The Crappy Rule, as outlined in the contest’s initial post a couple weeks back. It says, in part:

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).

So pay attention if you still have points coming — you’re still in this thing.

And then … we have the people who most definitely are not still in this thing. You have managed to achieve the ultimate in college basketball futility … and for that, you deserve an award.

animalhousebelushi

A Blutarsky Award.

Why does a college basketball pool have an award named for a fictional character from Animal House? For this one line, which perfectly describes your TPAUCNFFC (BTYBPP) performance:

Blutarsky Award winners (No correct Final Four picks and no points):

  • Otimemore
  • Expatpghgirl
  • Aunt Annoyed Angel
  • Kewyson
  • Redbuppy
  • PghRugbyRef
  • Sara Without An H
  • Lunchbox Birdshit
  • Juan

Thank you for playing, Blutarsky people. And good luck to the rest of you.

spoke too soon.

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Wait — we do suck. And so does Michigan.

well, then.

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Sixteen of your Twelve-point-five-th Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Piper’s Pub) contestants had them in the final four.

Seven of us — including yours truly — picked them to win the whole thing.

No, I’m not talking about the UMBC Retrievers — no one had those guys making the Final Four. I’m talking about Virgina, which is now the only No. 1 seed in the history of the men’s tournament to lose to a No. 16.

I mean, it was fun to watch … and then we all remembered what it would do to our brackets.

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I guess it’s not too early to start thinking about Blutarsky candidates, huh?

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.

it’s a trap.

The Flyers are pumped. Thanks to @calipanthergrl for the pic.
The Flyers are pumped. Thanks to @calipanthergrl for the pic.

I cringed as soon as I saw the announcement.

Ohio State vs. Dayton in the first round of the tournament.

My first thought: “That’s a first-round loss for the Buckeyes.”

I hope I’m wrong. But look:

  • Ohio State has no consistent scoring.
  • Ohio State had a weak finish to its season.
  • Ohio State may not be especially interested in a first-round game against Dayton, a team that will definitely be interested in beating the state’s biggest and best program.

Classic trap game, in every way. I haven’t decided how I’m going to pick this one — but I could very easily pick the Flyers to win.

Which, of course, means I’m probably totally wrong, and you should pick Ohio State to win the whole freaking thing.

And that, boys and girls, brings us to our now-daily reminder: Registration for the Ninth Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Bocktown) is open for just about another 24 hours. Entries are coming in at a steady pace, but it’s looking like we’re going to have a smaller-than-usual field this year. And that means the odd of you winning a $30 Bocktown gift card are better than ever.

Full rules and guidelines? You’ll find those here. But remember, it’s free and it’s easy — I need only your final four, championship game teams and eventual champion (plus a predicted title game score, to serve as a tiebreaker).

26. whew.

I had fun this morning, posting a stream of dumb Michigan jokes on my Facebook page.

I had fun for a bit in the third quarter, when it looked like Ohio State’s defense had settled down and the offense would continue scoring on most of its possessions.

The first half of the Michigan game? I’m not sure I’d call that fun. Fourth quarter? Fun, in a masochistic sort of way.

Tyvis Powell, Drew Dileo

Michigan’s two-point conversion attempt? If relief equals fun, then sure — fun.

I’m proud that Ohio State found a way to win a game that it shouldn’t have today. But there is a lot of stuff to figure out before Saturday’s title game against Michigan State — overall passing defense, defending screen plays, improving the consistency of our passing game. Oh, and maybe how to not throw punches at members of the opposing team.

But. That’s two in a row over Michigan. That’s a rivalry-game win on the road. That’s the nation’s longest undefeated streak. And that feels pretty good.

* * *

Speaking of fun: Did you catch the end of the Auburn-Alabama game?

That upset could — should? — open a door for Ohio State that as recently as a few hours ago looked to be deadbolted, barricaded and boarded up.

Look. There’s still a huge game — and a tough one — ahead on Saturday. But let’s consider just a couple of things:

  • No undefeated major-conference team has ever been jumped in the BCS rankings by a one-loss team.
  • If going undefeated was easy, there would be more than two AQ teams to do it this year.
  • As a response to the “Ohio State Doesn’t Belong” Chorus that has already started: Ohio State was favored today by 16.5. Alabama was favored by 10. We play the games for a reason.