Know your basketball? Either way, it's BracketBucks time
You can never predict what March weather will be like, but there's one thing you can count on -- March means it's time for the big NCAA men's basketball tournament, which means it's time for the Times-Gazette's annual Bracket Bucks contest.
A local winner who does the best job picking tournament matchups will receive a 40-inch flat screen smart TV from Kincaid Service Company and will have their name inscribed on the permanent trophy. The second place winner will receive a Holland Companion Grill, also from Kincaid, along with a personal trophy.
Local entrants will also be eligible for up to a $25,000 prize in a national contest. Don't think it can't happen: Two years ago, local winner Shannon Hayes missed winning a $2,500 national prize by a single point.
The object of the Bracket Bucks contest is to correctly select the winners of the 64 games of the men's NCAA basketball tournament. Players earn points for each correct selection.
Look for section
The bracket entry form will be printed in a special supplement to the Tuesday, March 15, and Wednesday, March 16, Times-Gazette. The bracket can be cut out and dropped off at Kincaid Service Co. or the T-G office by 11 a.m. Thursday, March 17. Entries may be mailed to the T-G, but they must be received in the T-G's post office box by 11 a.m. Thursday, March 17.
Both the TV and the grill can be seen at Kincaid Service Co., 400 Madison St.
"The great thing about picking a bracket," said T-G advertising director Sissy Smith, "is that, while there are advantages to being an informed fan, anything can happen -- and that means even someone who doesn't follow basketball at all has a chance to win. People really enjoy checking on their picks and watching for the kind of upset that makes or breaks a bracket."
Pairings for the NCAA tournament will be announced Sunday.
Jay Beal of Shelbyville was last year's Bracket Bucks winner, scoring 1,784 of a possible 2,000 points.
Count the balls
But even if you're not interested in picking a tournament bracket, you've still got a chance to win. Our "Count the Basketballs" contest is a separate competition which will also be featured in the special section next week. You can enter the bracket-picking contest, the count the basketballs contest or both, all on one entry form.
The "Count the Basketballs" will be a simple random drawing from among entries which include the correct number of basketballs featured in the special section.
Prizes will be awarded by the sponsors participating in our celebrity bracket-picking contest:
* A $50 gift certificate from Family Dentistry / David E. Barnes DDS and Pam A. Chamberland DDS;
* A $50 gift card from Traders Bank;
* A pizza party from Papa John's Pizza, including five large single-topping pizzas and three two-liter Pepsi products;
* A $50 gift card from Glen Oaks Health and Rehabilitation; and
* A $50 gift card from The Russell Center for Vein and Vascular Care.
Rocky Wright of Shelbyville was one of the winners of last year's "Count the Basketballs" contest.
"I play every game the Times-Gazette does," said Wright, who picked up a $50 gift card.
The contest is open to anyone 13 and older.