We can all cry about how college basketball stopped mattering for Bay Area teams yesterday, or we could do something about it. Since probably about 5% of the people who read this site (if that) can afford to be a booster and propel their favorite college teams to victory with state of the art facilities or tattoo money for the players, we should do the opposite and give you guys the chance to make some money.

That’s right, BASG March Madness has new prizes. Well, one new prize. But it’s CASH. $50 dollars. Enough to pay for a cab ride from one side of the Bay to the other when you realize BART stopped running a half hour earlier. Enough for two cases of beer (from Costco). Enough for, well, a lot of things.

Is it free to join this contest? Oh, but of course! I know all you Bay Area college basketball fans shed a couple tears like Matt Maiocco yesterday, I wouldn’t dare prey on your vulnerability by asking you to pony up $5 or more to join another bracket. Who’s got that kind of money these days? Not me, which is why I’m taking out a loan to pay for the prizes this year. Here they are:

1st Prize: $50

2nd Prize: A box of ridiculously good salted caramel truffles (trust me, they’re delicious)

3rd Prize: A generous helping of homemade cookies, courtesy of my wife Elizabeth (or as some of you know her, SGL)

How do you join and earn the chance to play for a cash prize big enough to eat at In ‘N Out somewhere between six and 11 times, depending on how gluttonous you are?

Just create a Yahoo account if you don’t already have one, and follow this link. And yes, you have to fill out your entire bracket before the first game on Thursday (don’t laugh, a certain mother in law who will remain nameless didn’t know this fact, and then she ended up winning the contest).

It’s a public group, no password required. However, if you win any of the prizes you’re going to have to be okay with sending me your address so we can get your prize to you.

The only thing is if I win, nobody’s getting $50 from me. I watch only slightly more college basketball throughout the regular season than the average Bay Area resident, and most of it is WCC and Pac-10 basketball, which apparently is beyond worthless this year in the eyes of the selection committee. So if you can’t beat me, you don’t deserve the money, but don’t worry because I never win these things.

Good luck!