The 4th Annual Palestra Back Fantasy Shootout

Thursday, March 15

Welcome everyone to the best time of year. Welcome to March Madness. Welcome to the Palestra Back Fantasy Shootout.

We have a record number of entrants and a record high purse. For the fourth consecutive year, we have increased the number of players, to an all-time high of 88. Your team will need to play at their absolute bests to win this contest. Try not to lose your voice while screaming at your TV for them to shoot the ball.

We have a big, beautiful spreadsheet for you to follow along as the action happens. You can find all of your teams listed at our on the “Teams” sheet. The “Standings” sheet is your leaderboard for the month of March (including this year’s payouts). Enjoy seeing your team fly up and down the rankings. Finally, the “Data” sheet is the nuts and bolts, where I’ll be inputting scores. If you think you see a mistake, let me know.

Finally, a special thank you to Sėan Sharkey for building the entry form and spreadsheet. Without you, this contest would be possible, but would put me into a stress-induced coma.

March Madness attracts so much attention from casual fans for a variety of reasons. Sure, the excitement and emotion are nearly unmatched in the world of sports, but what really gets everyone juices pumping is those brackets. Everyone wants to enter and win their pool, and really, everyone has the chance to do so. Even if  they have not watched a single second of basketball this season, every person in your office has an equal shot of submitting a winning bracket.

As a basketball fan, that probably bothers you. You studied! You know about RPI and KenPom and mid-major conferences. You read Palestra Back, dammit!

Why can’t there be a better way to prove your basketball prowess? Why can’t we take things a step further? Can’t we have more fun that a boring old bracket?

We can! It’s called the Palestra Back Fantasy Shootout.


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.

This year, it’s even easier to play and to understand. Go to the all new handy-dandy entry form and simply choose one player from each of the dropdown menus. THAT’S IT. Well, except you need to pay.

Just looking to do your research and craft your team before submitting? This spreadsheet features all the players listed and their per game scoring averages.


Entries will cost $20, with payouts being made to made to the top finishers (exact payouts and number of winners to be determined once all entries are received). 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.


Entries are open! Go to the entry form and submit your team whenever you’re ready.

All of this must be done before 10 AM on Thursday, March 15. 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.


No, it’s from 2016! You don’t care, you’re just here for the contest!


Shane McNichol is the founder, editor, and senior writer at He has also contributed to, Rush The Court,, Larry Brown Sports, and USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @OnTheShaneTrain.

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