Bee Final Four Challenge now offering $100 in cash for winner

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SANDPOINT — Thanks to the generosity of Daily Bee General Manager Alsy Brinkmeyer, the cash prize has been increased for the winner of the free annual Bee Final Four Challenge, with the winner now getting $100 in cash.

“Sure, I’d love to give $100 away to one of our readers,” said Brinkmeyer when asked about upping the winnings.

March Madness has officially arrives as the brackets have been released. The talking heads are starting to turn purple with conjecture about which No. 1 seed will be upset, which double-digit seed might make a run to the Final Four, and why a potential Cinderella like St. Maries didn’t get in after a stellar season in the lightly-regarded West Coast Conference, while ice-cold snoozers like Oklahoma and Arizona State inexplicably got into the Big Dance.

Are you among the scores of Gonzaga fans in Sandpoint, admitted homers who are riding the local team to the Final Four? It’s not such a stretch, especially if they shoot like they did in the WCC tourney, but they’re sure to see some lengthy and athletic defenses far stronger than BYU and St. Maries. They’re an incredibly dangerous No. 4 seed regardless, especially if Killian Tillie continues to splash ever ball that leaves his hands, thereby opening up the floor for myriad other skilled scorers.

Do the Zags have the horses to make another run to the finals, like last year? Or will the blue bloods like Duke, Kansas, North Carolina and Michigan State hold seed and advance to the Final Four.

Want to win a crisp $100 bill?

Then enter the free Bee Final Four Challenge.

The Bee sports editor will make the first official entry, adhering to a time-honored and losing tradition of picking dark-horses to break though. Perhaps this is the year. Here is the official entry format.

Eric Plummer: Miami, Gonzaga, West Virginia, Auburn.

Championship: Gonzaga 71, West Virginia 61.

To enter, send your name, Final Four picks, and championship game score (for tie-breaker purposes) to

After each week of bracket carnage, the Bee will update the leaders. Whoever picks the most Final Four teams wins the $100, with tie-breakers to decide after that.

Act quickly, as the deadline to enter is Thursday at noon.

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