DETROIT -- Poolmaster Anderson Varejao has contacted us (from his lounge chair at the Four Seasons) with the final results of SI.com's Tourney Blog Pool. For the first time ever we have dual champions: Tom McCutcheon of UNC-Wilmington and Jonathan Newton of the University of New Brunswick. Tom and Jonathan tied with 159 points and both picked North Carolina as their champ.
The winners were promised a bit of blog fame (including a photo!), so here goes:
McCutcheon is history major at UNC-Wilmington who's looking to get a job in sports journalism after graduation. He's been following the Tar Heels since he was born, he says, because his father is a UNC alum. As for Tom's bracket-picking strategy, here's what he wrote us over the weekend:
"Defense, rebounding, coaching and momentum. Those are things I liked about Michigan State. Of course, those things aren't fool-proof, as evidenced by what happened to Memphis. I would have picked the Tar Heels regardless of them being my team or not. They made the Final Four last year with juniors and sophomores. They returned all their players, and with a lineup of juniors and seniors -- plus more future NBA players than any other team -- I knew they were ready to cut down the nets."
Newton is a second-year biology student at the University of New Brunswick who had only been in a few pools prior to this one, and the Tourney Blog pool was his first-ever victory. Here's how he described his bracket strategy:
"Living in Canada, which means no ESPN, NCAA basketball isn't that well-covered before the madness begins. So my favourite team would have to be North Carolina, just because they get the most coverage, because they're usually No. 1, or they highlight Duke-UNC games. Before the brackets were due I had read a couple of articles on SI.com and found out what teams were hot and cold going into the tournament and which conferences to stay away from in general [Big Ten] and I just made the choices that I thought were the most likely to succeed and ended up here: winning this bracket."
The entire Tourney Blog Pool top 10:
1. Tom McCutcheon (159)
1. Jonathan Newton (159)
3. Dennis Bastron (158)
4. Dwayne Harris (157)
5. Frank Russo (155)
6. Brian Leigh (154)
6. Cuong Nguyen (154)
6. Darinka Savcic (154)
9. Jacob Keyton (152)
10. Wilkie Colyer (151)
263. Luke Winn (121)
Thanks to the 262 people (out of 1,091 brackets) who beat me, the 828 who didn't, and the rest of you who just followed the blog without participating in the pool. Hope to see you back next year.