Thursday, March 21, 2024

Welcome To The 2024 Chippens Tournament Challenge

We are underway in the 2024 Chippens Tournament Challenge! It looks to be another exciting year with a mix of veteran and rookie players, and a new generation looking to make its mark.

Here are the links to the standings and reports:



Whether the tournament will have a repeat champion this year is a question with a consequential answer. Forty players, or 35% of the field, has picked UConn to repeat and 57% of players have them to at least reach the finals.

If you are one of those players, this means you'll have to look to this weekend to separate yourself from the pack. 

One player who picked against popular opinion was Cinderallie. She chose 31-3 James Madison to win it all. She is one of five players to be the only person to pick a certain team to win. The others are Allie Bracket (Northwestern), PAWWWL (BYU), Turing Test (Creighton), and Sugarduck 52 (Baylor).


The concept of history repeating itself shows up in this year's tourney in a couple other areas. 

The first is whether Purdue will repeat its historic first round loss from last year, when it failed to win a single game as a #1 seed. 

It should be noted, of course, that the only other time this happened, to Virginia, that team came back the next year and avenged its humiliating loss by winning the title (in part by beating Purdue in miraculous fashion). 

Twenty players have faith the Boilermakers can do what Virginia did. Three players--Sarah, SnowDaysInApril, and Sugarduck52--have seen enough and won't be fooled again. They have Purdue losing tomorrow night.

The other area where we might see history repeat involves defending champ Stump. He picked UConn all the way again, and he also predicted victory for himself. "Going back to back!!" was his bold statement. 

UConn isn't the secret it was last year, however, so Stump will need some help from the likes of #12 seed Grand Canyon, who he has in the Sweet 16. 

New Chippens Frontiers?

With Stump becoming the Challenge's first two-time champ, there are only a couple "moonshot" barriers left to crack. 

One is breaking 200 points in a single season. The record still stands at 192 points, last achieved by tournament savant Blizzard T. Husky in 2009. What's more, only player since 2013 has even cracked the top 20 list for single season points. 

A New Generation Of Players

Perhaps, with the Chippens player population becoming ever more aged, addled, and fossilized (speaking only for myself, of course), it will fall on a new generation of players to break records.

The previously-mentioned Allie Bracket and Sugarduck are part of a sizable contingent of young players reaching the age of "majority" (in Chippens terms this can be very young) and thus able to fill out a bracket on their own.

The "Next Gen" crowd of school-age wunderkinds also includes V, TrueWisconsiniteE, Unicano156, Gray is cool, Dawg, DaphneDooster, ChaChaTheCuriousWinner, Chucky's Fan Girl, and Addygator. 

These youngins have the advantage of nimble minds, fertilized by sweet naïveté, and thus are able to do things with their brackets most adults couldn't do without first putting on a diaper and checking with their cardiologist. 

Not bound by "safe" or "logical" choices, these are dangerous players who need just one or two blessings of fortune to come away with the Grand Prize and perhaps a new record. 

Good luck to all! 

Sunday, March 17, 2024

The 2024 Chippens Tournament Challenge

Greetings, Players!

You can now MAKE YOUR PICKS in the 2024 Chippens Tournament Challenge!  

The rules this year are the same:

  • Entry is free
  • One bracket per person
  • Must be old enough to make your own picks
  • Prizes to the top three finishers! 

Make sure to also read the FINAL RECAP from last season! And check out the updated ALL-TIME RECORDS



 "It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." -- Sir Edmund Hillary

"This achievement literally stands by itself." -- Mike Stump

Mike Stump has officially reached the mountaintop--twice. He has accomplished a feat many thought impossible in becoming the first and only two-time Chippens Tournament Challenge Champion. What many dream of accomplishing just once in their lifetime, Mike has done twice. 

"A second Chippens Tourney win ranks right up there with the birth of my second child," Mike said. "It's a goal I set after winning my first Chippens Championship. Stick with it long enough, kids, and you can accomplish your goals!" 

Mike's path to glory ran through UConn. He was one of only two players to select them as the 2023 champion. 

"History has told me that if I correctly picked the champion I would have a chance," he said. "I was fortunate enough that UConn battled their way through the field and helped me secure victory." 

Stumper's success isn't all pure luck, though. He did reveal his strategy relies a little bit on studying his fellow Chippens competitors and their tendencies, something he has had ample chance to do over 18 Chippens seasons. 

"It always helps to know there is a lot of competition that will build in MSU to go far," he said. "It doesn't hurt to pick against some of the 'assumed field favorites' to pick up points." 

Stumper's win moves him up to 2nd all-time in average points, 2nd in pick percentage, and 6th in average place. He retains his position as the all-time career leader in total points. He is now tied for the most top-10 and top-20 finishes all-time. 

As for being a two-time champ and also a two-time father, it is heartening to know Stumper is properly training his little ones and inspiring them to greatness.  

"I've hung my championship t-shirt up on the nursery wall so my daughter grows up knowing what a winner can accomplish," he said. "She falls asleep to 'One Shining Moment' every night as we recall the thrill of UConn winning the final game. Reliving the feeling of victory gives me the energy to get through midnight feedings and diaper changes." 

We look forward with anticipation and a little trepidation at the next generation of formidable Stumpers battling in the Tournament Challenge.  

Congratulations to Mike Stump, a (two-time) Champion for the Ages! 

Other Notable Results:

  • Congrats to Jake Willis and Michelle Reichenbacher for finishing second and third, respectively. It is the first time either has been "in the prizes" in the Modern Era. In fact, Michelle's previous best result was 48th place in 2010.
  • Congrats to Travis Rogers for finishing in 4th--easily his best finish ever in 18 seasons. 
  • Following a 15-tourney hiatus, Greg Huffaker came back strong with a 6th place finish, beating his only other result, 22nd place in 2006. 
  • Jason Armstrong, in 5th, finished in the top 5 for the second time in four years. 
  • Congrats to Brandon Christol in 8th place. The former champ notched his 4th top-10 finish, tied for Stumper with the most ever. 
  • Daphne Corwin rounded out the top 1o with a strong sophomore performance. 10th place was a big improvement from her 93rd place freshman season. Daphne and Mackie Mo tied for highest pick percentage at 61.9% each. Mackie finished in 13th. 
  • In 19th place, Julie Thompson picked up her third top-20 finish in the last four seasons and 5th overall.
  • Congrats to Adam Lombard for his 7th top 20 finish, Trevor Sierra for his 6th, and Jeff Vandellen for his 5th.
  • Congrats to Pete Dabrowski for having perhaps the greatest least-successful-yet-completely-reasonable brackets of all time. He managed just 28 points with a 30.2% pick rate and of course finished last in 118th. This amazingly horrific result is despite putting a #1 seed, two #2 seeds, and one #8 seed in his Final Four and picking a 29-5 #2 seed to win it all. 

Thursday, March 16, 2023

The 2023 Chippens Tournament Challenge

We are underway in the 22nd installment of the Chippens Tournament Challenge, the most glorious tournament challenges of them all. 

Here are the links to the standings and other reports:

*As standings are updated, you may need to refresh your browser to see the latest version*



Once again over 100 players from all over the world have met in a great contest of spectator sports to test their mettle, determination, fortitude, thumb dexterity, and attention to deadlines. 

Here are a few storylines we will be keeping an eye out for this year.

Returning Champ

James Wylder returns to defend his 2022 championship. No player in Chippens history has won two titles, let alone back-to-back. Last year, the "Prairie Prodigy" swallowed his pride as an Illinois fan and strategically picked the Bill Self coached Kansas to win it all. He figured he needed a team that could win but one that not necessarily many players would choose. 

This year, Wylder picked . . . Kansas again! (It's always easier the second time). Last year, only nine players picked Kansas. This year . . . only nine players picked Kansas. 

Perhaps even more than Kansas, though, Wylder will be looking to Duke. He's only one of two players with the Blue Devils in the title game, and one of only seven with them in the Final Four.

Howe Bui Do It 

Of course, the Grand Prize T-Shirt is a big draw for the Chippens Tournament Challenge. Past Champions generally either get theirs framed for the living room centerpiece or put them in a safe deposit box for future generations. 

This year's t-shirt is another fan favorite. In fact, MonsterTruck reportedly exclaimed out, "OH! I want that!" as soon as she saw this year's design. 

The Monster has a Gonzaga-Purdue final with Gonzaga winning. She's one of only four with Gonzaga winning, but one of 20 with them in the final. 

Monster is currently the 104th ranked player in Chippens history (out of 106). So she's due for a big year! 

She will have to beat out her husband Wait ... what's happening (Ian Howe) if she wants the t-shirt. 

Howe has two top 20 Chippens finishes and has figured in the top of the standings to the final weekend multiple times. A Houston fan, he has found success with the Cougars in the past. This year, though, even though they are a fan favorite pick to win the title, Howe only picked them to the Final Four. He is one of 11 with Arizona winning it all. 

Houston, A Problem?

More players picked Houston than any other team in this year's tourney. Almost a quarter of the field has them going all the way. That includes wily veteran Old People Rock (Uncle Leo), who has lived in Houston for many years. 

Another player, though, who named himself Houston, You May Have A Problem (Adam Lombard) picked the Cougars to crash in the Final Four. 

Lombard may be referring to the fact Houston's best player suffered a season-ending injury in the conference tournament. 

Lombard is playing in his 17th straight Chippens Tourney and has six top-20 finishes. 

For Uncle Leo, this is tourney lucky number 13. His last top-20 finish was in 2013. Former dalliances and his brother-in-law Señor Wences report he has as many as 13 toes. 

Will that be enough to claw Houston to the title? Uncle Leo will be crossing his fingers and toes. 

Rookies To Watch

Each year intrepid rookies take their shot at a Chippens Championship. This year AmyD, Wade Walker, ChaChaTheGreat, dmartorana, Nuscher, Lowder, Horwath, Sarah, and Swisher are some of the new names vying for a title. 

The amazing Yma Nevob is the only player in history to win as a rookie. But in this most unpredictable year, miracles can happen again! 

Good luck to all. 

Sunday, March 12, 2023

The 2023 Chippens Tournament Challenge


You can now MAKE YOUR PICKS in the 2023 Chippens Tournament Challenge!!! 

We have a different look this year, and there are sure to be some hiccups as we figure out the new system. So make your picks early and keep a copy for your records! 

Once again, entry is FREE and there will be PRIZES for the winners. 

Third place: Fridge magnet

Second place: Bumper sticker


This year's grand prize was designed by star artists ChaCha Corwin (front) and Daphne Corwin (back). This one of a kind collector's item can be YOURS, if you make your picks! 


1 bracket per person

Must be old enough to make your own picks 

Deadline is noon eastern / 11 a.m. central Thursday, March 16. 

Want this t-shirt? MAKE YOUR PICKS!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2022


Abraham Lincoln and James R. Wylder. 

One of these men came from a modest background on the prairie to become a famed and accomplished Illinois attorney. He is noted for above-average height and plain speech, along with a distinctive hairstyle, fondness for "circumlocutory" storytelling, and that classic, ever-serious statesman's gaze in portraits (befitting his lofty station). His name is on buildings here in Central Illinois, and his legacy is sure to endure for generations as one of the nation's greatest American heroes. 

The other man is Abraham Lincoln. 

Congratulations to James Wylder for winning the 2022 Chippens Tournament Challenge, something not even that other Central Illinoisan Abraham Lincoln ever accomplished. 

"It's a unique, stand alone victory," Wylder said, when asked to rank this accomplishment among his many other now-lesser achievements. "It's in a category by itself." 

Wylder rode the Kansas Jayhawks to victory. He was one of only nine players to correctly pick them all the way. 

"I wanted a team that could win, but that not many would pick," Wylder said in explaining his rationale to back the Jayhawks. 

Wylder said he "became confident" in his route to the championship when Arkansas beat Gonzaga. He was one of only four players with the Arkansas upset, and the win knocked out many players who picked Gonzaga to win it all. 

It was then the thrilling thought of victory first entered his mind as a true possibility, sending a charge from his penny loafers up his khakis to the ample bulge in his . . . breast pocket of his trademark blazer (where he keeps a year's consignment of emergency supplies).

The proximity of triumph was almost as exciting to Wylder as the prospect of free Scotch and Newports and a pile of purple chips at a blackjack table during "Buxom Ladies' Night" at some dimly-lit establishment with the word "Saloon" in the title and where you have to ask to borrow a key for the bathroom.    

Indeed, Wylder was on vacation in the Caribbean during his meteoric rise to the top of the standings. As his victory edged closer and closer--like having two face cards versus a dealer showing a six--his attachment to checking the leaderboard grew stronger and stronger. 

"I decided to check (the standings) every time I got a drink," Wylder said, no doubt in order to keep a steady hand lest the nerve-rattling excitement caused him to drop his phone in the pool (or perhaps in the décolletage of a swooning "admirer"). "So it was pretty often between noon and 1 a.m."  

Going into this year, as one of the Chippens Tournament Challenge's lowest-ranked players  (98/106), Wylder knew he would have to change his strategy to change his fortunes. 

"This year I picked with my head and not with my heart," he said. "It's not easy for an Illini to pick a Bill Self team to win it all." Let this be a lesson to future Chippens hopefuls: It is that type of self-sacrifice that forges a true champion. (Wylder's new ranking is 87/105).  

Wylder now has the distinct honor of donning this year's Grand Prize T-Shirt. We are all looking forward to seeing him wearing it as he takes his rightful place in the Hall of Champions. Then, Wylder said, he will put the t-shirt away in safekeeping "for the Chippens Champion Reunion Cruise." 

If that cruise ever happens (doubtful), Wylder will be among familiar faces. With his victory, he becomes the fourth member of his extended family to win the title. There are only seven adults in the group in total, so Wylder said that means "the pressure is now on my two remaining daughters, Allie and Beth, and my son-in-law Ethan." 

And after that? 

"My grandkids will then be old enough that I think the streak can go on in perpetuity," he said. 

Congratulations to James R. Wylder, a Champion For The Ages.   

Other Notable Results

  • Congrats to She Winns and politicalgrrl for getting second and third place, respectively. This is politicalgrrl's second consecutive top-5 finish, an accomplishment matched by only two other players in history. She Winns is in her fourth year of competition and now has two top-20 finishes. I believe she also had the biggest one-year improvement, up to 2nd from 98th last year.
  • Another Winn, abbywinn, finished in 8th place as the Challenge's top rookie this year. 
  • Susu finished in 28th place, good enough to take over the top spot on the All-Time Average Place list. She couldn't beat J Willis, though, who finished 27th, beating Susu on the first tie-breaker. I'll let them decide who gets bragging rights for their respective accomplishments. 
  • Farther down the standings, BMac also edged out Beachy, 82nd place to 83rd place by virtue of the first tie-breaker. Beachy, who ranks 101/105 in the All-Time list, send in about 10 brackets this year so we know she was really trying! It wasn't quite enough to beat her husband, but neither of them will get household bragging rights as those belong to young Corvette Guy, who finished an impressive 39th in his Chippens debut. 
  • Ferris Mueller picked up his third top-12 finish in the last four years. 
  • Last year's defending champ, Jessica Crum, had another solid year picking up a 20th place finish. 
  • Of the early leaders Slinger, Budd Dwyer, and BoilerBaller, the Prideful Peacock of Purdue had the most staying power, finishing 6th. Dwyer notched 19th, and Slinger slipped to 64th. 
  • Finally congrats to the players smart enough to pick Kansas: the top three finishers along with MarliMazy (5th), MrsJT (7th), Candle Guy (10th), and The Chris (11th), PrunkenDicks (13th), and sydthekid (14th). Those are the top finishes ever for Marli and MrsJT. It's the second top-10 finish for Candle Guy, and The Chris just missed his fourth top-10 finish out of the last six. For Mr. Prunken, he snaps a streak of three straight finishes in the Century Club, the very bottom of the barrel. As for Syd, 14th place is only her third best finish ever.  

Thanks to everyone for playing, and we hope to be back next year!

Thursday, March 17, 2022

The 2022 Chippens Tournament Challenge

Greetings, Players!

First of all, congratulations on joining The Chippens Tournament Challenge. You are in for an exhilarating ride! 

Click HERE for player listing, player picks, current standings, projected standings, and more! 

Daily Recaps


Friends, another epic chapter begins in the Chippens Tournament Challenge. The storylines are emerging already, and on this first day of competition, hopes are high, and the possibility of glory is still within reach. Read on below to see what to watch for as the games unfold and destinies are determined.  

Another Hero Returns

As I said last year, every year we have at least one player come back out of the wilderness and rejoin the Chippens fold. This year that player is The silver lake hero (M. Fowler). 

"Hero" has three tournament results, the last being in 2009. His A-Frame Awesomeness, as he is known around the lake, finished 38th in 2009, 41st in 2007, and 35 in 2006. Not bad results, but of course the Tournament gets tougher every year. 

Hero has chosen Iowa to be his own hero. He is one of just four players with the Hawkeyes advancing all the way to the title game. Foolish or Hawkeye-like vision? Time will tell. 

Juwan Howard Smackdown

Two players have paid homage, or mockery, to that whole Juwan Howard haymaker incident--Juwan Howard's Right Hook (B. Brennan) and Juwan Howard's Sucker Punch (A. Kelly). These players have personal allegiances to Michigan and Michigan State. I'll let you guess from their respective descriptions of the incident which is which. 

They each have wildly divergent interpretations of the bracket as well. Right Hook likes Kentucky over Arizona with Michigan advancing to the Elite 8 and Michigan State losing in the first round. Sucker Punch has Gonzaga over Tennessee with Michigan State advancing to the Sweet 16 and Michigan losing in the first round.

Will either of these players land a punch? Or will both be swings and misses? Last year Kelly started out strong and faded. Brennan, now in his 13th season, hasn't had a top 25 finish since his rookie campaign. But this year could always be the year!  


One of the Rules of the Chippens Tournament is you must be old enough to make your own picks. This year we have two rookies who have met that milestone, Daphne Dooster (D. Corwin) and ThatGuyOverInTheCorvette (W. McCall). 

One thing about the younger players is they usually either go strictly by the book or just go wild, completely uninhibited and undaunted by things like seeding, records, conferences, etc. These two players seem to fit each category, respectively. 

Corvette has the 1-2 matchup in each region in the Elite 8, all four #1 seeds in the Final Four, and an Arizona over Gonzaga final. If the tournament plays to chalk, as they say, Corvette will be speeding out to the front. 

Dooster will need a big booster from Texas. She just seemed to like the name. She's the only player with Texas winning it all. 

5-year Ringers

I always like to point out who's up for their 5-year rings. This year we have Con Man, MonsterTruc, Train, Lanfreak, and Bsnides earning their eligibility for the All Time Records! 

Friday, March 11, 2022

The 2022 Chippens Tournament Challenge

The Chippens Tournament Challenge is back for its 21st year! We are ready for you to MAKE YOUR PICKS

The 21st running of the Chippens Tournament Challenge is sure to be another spectacular spectacle. There is a lot to share about this year's tournament so let's get to it. 

The Final Year

I regret to say this will be the FINAL year of the Chippens Tournament Challenge in its traditional format. But don't get too sad yet. Let me explain. The good folks who make the Chippens Tournament Challenge software are retiring and closing their company. Chippens has used this software since 2002. This means in order to continue in 2023 we will need to find new tournament software. The search is on and we are hopeful we can find something for next year that is equal in quality to what we've been using for 20 years. In the meantime, enjoy this final run with Chippens Classic.  

The Grand Prize T-Shirt 

This year's Grand Prize T-Shirt, seen below, is just plums magnificent. This baller T will be more valuable than your family jewels! Win this t-shirt and you'll never walk into a room again without everyone going nuts!

Tournament Rules & Regulations

  • The deadline to MAKE YOUR PICKS this year is Thursday, March 17 at 12:00 noon eastern time, 11 a.m. central. Games this year are back to their traditional Thursday schedule, so don't miss the deadline!  
  • As always, entry is FREE and there is a great lineup of prizes for the winners. 
  • First place will receive the Grand Prize T-Shirt and Eternal Chippens Glory. 
  • Second place wins a bumper sticker. 
  • Third place wins a fridge magnet. 
  • One entry per person. All entrants must make their own picks and be old enough to do so. Must submit a valid email address. 
  • If you want to change your picks, you can submit a new bracket or email me the changes. If you submit a second bracket, it will automatically supersede your first bracket. 




This year's Grand Prize T-Shirt is truly eggcelent. Whoever has the most balls bounce their way will be wearing this t-shirt to all their most important events! 

Good luck, and enjoy the tournament!