The NCAA basketball tournament begins this week, marking the 37th year of our “Steps to the Championship” basketball contest.
The bracket for the NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship is included in this section, and you’ll want to enter. This year first prize is a $50 gift certificate from Mac & Bob’s restaurant in Salem, as well as a year’s subscription to the Salem Times-Register.
This is a special year, with both Virginia Tech and Virginia in the tournament. The two could even play each other on March 24 in New York if they both win their first two games. Unfortunately, Wisconsin and overall top seed Villanova stand in Tech’s way and UVA will have to get past a tough UNC-Wilmington team, and then either Florida or East Tennessee State.
VCU will also represent the state of Virginia in the tournament. The Rams open tonight against St. Mary’s in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The rules of the contest are simple. Simply fill in the brackets, right down to the championship winner. The person who fills in the most blanks correctly when the NCAA championship is decided on April 3rd in Phoenix will be the winner.
The tie-breaker, if needed, is as follows. If two contestants are tied for the top spot, the winner is the contestant whose pick to win the championship has advanced farther. If it’s still tied, then whoever had the most correct in the “Final Four” will win. If still tied, we go to the Final Eight, Final 16, etc.
Your completed entry form must be in our office by 5 pm this Friday, on St. Patrick’s Day. So, realize you get the Thursday games for free if you play your cards right. However, don’t try to slip your entry in after the deadline on Friday because we’ll be watching, and you’ll be disqualified. Drinking too much green beer will not be an acceptable excuse.
You can also mail your entry, but it must be postmarked by 5 pm Friday. Send it to, “Steps to the Championship,” Salem Times-Register Sports, P.O. Box 1125, Salem, VA 24153.
All entries must be on the official ballot, cut out of a Salem Times-Register newspaper.