The 3rd Annual Palestra Back Fantasy Shootout

Welcome back to March Madness! Here at Palestra Back, that means one thing: time to pick some players and win some money! It’s the Palestra Back Fantasy Shootout.

Without further ado, let’s cut to the chase and explain the best basketball related contest ever invented:


To enter, you’ll chose one player from each seed line. One player from any of the four number 1 seeds, one player from any of the four 2 seeds, and on and on, all the way down to the lowly 16 seeds. You’ll finish with a 16 player team (with each playing for a different seed). The team with the most total points (and only points, no rebounds or assists or other statistics) is the winner. Everything will kick off next Thursday with the round of 64, so no bonus points from guys in the First Four/play-in games.

It’s a bit like playing Daily Fantasy Sports on FanDuel or DraftKings, but instead of choosing based on fictional player “salaries”, you are limited by their team’s seeding. But in tournament play, it’s more than just points per game because we don’t know how many games each player will play. Take a solid scorer from the team you think will win it all or the high volume shooter on the team that could be bounced after a few games? That’s the decision you’ll need to make.


Entries will cost $20, with payouts being made to the top finishers (exact payouts and number of winners to be determined once all entries are received). Last year we had 45 participants and paid $600 to the winner and smaller prizes to the teams in 2nd – 5th place. This year, we’re hoping for more players and we’ll definitely have some extra bonuses for top finishers.

Only one entry will be allowed per person.

Payment can be submitted in any of the following way:

Paypal: Click RIGHT HERE to submit your $20. If you don’t have a PayPal account, it’s free and easy to set-up.

Venmo: Send $20 to Shane-McNichol on the Venmo app. If you don’t have Venmo, it’s free and easy to set-up.

If either of those options doesn’t work for you for whatever reason, send me an email (, message me on Twitter (@OnTheShaneTrain), or comment on this post down below. We’ll figure it out.


In past years, we’ve fielded entries via email, which created quite a bit of admin work on the back end. This season, we’re making things easy for you and for me.


To help out with your picks, here is a handy spreadsheet featuring every player in the tournament who scores more than 5.5 points per game, sorted by seed. IT’S THAT EASY.

Sign up as soon as you can! That helps us on the admin and clerical side, so we can having the (nearly) live scoring set up by Thursday morning. Invite as many friends as you can. In the sign -up sheet, it will ask how they heard about the contest. Anyone who pulls in 5 more participants will receive 20% off at the Palestra Back store!

All of this must be done before 10 AM on Thursday, March 17. This is a hard deadline. If your team is not in yet, your money will be refunded. If you have not paid, your team will be removed from the contest.



With 66 participants, we have a total purse of $1,320. Here is how that will be distributed:

1st place: $800 – The Ceiling is the Roof
2nd place: $300 – NaNa Land
3rd place: $150 – Tcare7
4th place: $50 – Bud Light Mike
5th place: $20 – The Tripping Graysons
If you finished in the top half (33 of 66) of the standings, you will receive an email with a coupon code for 20% off at the Palestra Back Store. Grab a shirt or mug to celebrate finishing in the top 50 percent!
If you’re one of our five lucky winners, I’ll email you to confirm form of payment.
Congrats to our winners! This year, the ceiling truly was the roof. Another fantastic tournament, another successful Shootout. We’ll see you back here next year for more PBFS, but stay tuned for tons more content from Palestra Back, including NBA Draft nuggets, playoff breakdowns, and before you know it, college basketball previews. If you enjoyed the contest or something you read here, share with a friend or on your social media channels. It goes a long way!


Standings can be found in the first sheet, team scores in the 2nd, and individual player scores in the third. HUGE, MONSTROUS thank you to Séan Sharkey and Evan Gallagher for research and technical help on this project.

If you have a question, contact me. Email, Twitter, Facebook, comment, smoke signal. Whatever works for you.


Shane McNichol is the founder, editor, and writer at He has also contributed to, Rush The Court,, Larry Brown Sports, and USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @OnTheShaneTrain. If you have any suggestions, tips, ideas, or questions, email them to

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