one day. fifty bucks.

March-2018-Calendar-Green

The one glaring omission on this lovely March 2018 calendar: Noon on Thursday, March 15.

What’s up at Noon on Thursday, March 15? That’s your deadline to submit an entry for TPFAUCNFFC (BTYBPP) — Twelve-point-five-th Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Piper’s Pub*).

A full rundown of the rules is here, but it’s basically just this: Tell me your Final Four, your championship game participants and the team that will take the title, along with a score for the championship game. It’s free to enter, and the winner gets a $50 gift card at Piper’s Pub. As as I type this, I have exactly three entries … so the odds of you winning look pretty good at the moment.

So, here’s what that calendar should actually look like:

March-2018-Calendar-Green edit

Get your entries in soon, boys and girls.

*Note the name change. Everyone say, “Thank you, Mindy.”

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by popular demand.

daum doom
I am already having nightmares about South Dakota State’s Mike Daum, who apparently shoots like Larry freaking Bird.

OK. Fine. We’ll do it.

After a one-year absence, I am pleased to welcome everyone back to what we’re going to call TPFAUCNFFC (BTYBM) — Twelve-point-five-th Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Me). And we’re back thanks to a quick vote on Twitter and Facebook today that overwhelmingly revealed that most of you still have no idea what AUCNFFC is.

In other words:

With the off year in 2017, it’s likely that we’re all rusty on the ins and outs of AUCNFFC. Here’s how it works:

  • Find yourself a copy of the bracket. If you can’t manage that, I should probably disqualify you from the TPFAUCNFFC (BTYBM) right now. But I’m feeling generous, so here’s a decent one. 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 Indy.
  • After consulting your bracket again, pick the two teams you think will win the national semi-final games on April 2.
  • Consult your bracket once more, and pick the team from your semi-finalists who will win the title game April 4
  • 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? Given that I’m writing this in a hurry I’m mostly copying and pasting I’m totally 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 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: UMBC vs. Lipscomb, Radford vs. Iona

Championship game: UMBC vs Radford

Champion: UMBC, 82-74

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, TPFAUCNFFC (BTYBM) 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 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. 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 2016.

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.

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.

countdown.

252118ddcb4f2031_noon.xxxlarge_1

If you’re playing in the Eleventh Annual Uncle Crappy NCAA Final Four Challenge (Brought To You By Bocktown), the time to enter is now. If I have your picks by noon today, you’ll be eligible to win our $50 Bocktown gift card.

And if you don’t? I’ll think of you when I’m eating my delicious bacon and beer cheese fries.