UConn’s win over Tennessee made Danny Pilz, Conor Sullivan and Matt Kagan the Living Room Times’s first-ever pool co-champions — and gave Kagan an unprecedented double championship to go with the Huskies’ remarkable double title.
Kagan captured a share of the women’s pool championship three days after clinching the outright men’s pool victory, an especially remarkable feat in a year when both the men’s and women’s pools set records for participation: 76 in the men’s, 62 in the women’s.
Pilz, meanwhile, won the tiebreaker to earn the Pick 65 championship tote bag for the men’s pool. His prediction of a five-point spread in the title game was closer to reality than the the four-point spreads predicted by Kagan and Sullivan. UConn won by nine.
Sullivan also earned a piece of the championship — and, in addition, he finished first in Pick 65’s overall, website-wide standings, which are based on a slightly different scoring system than the LRT pool. [UPDATE: Sullivan wins a laser pointer!]
Pilz, Kagan and Sullivan are all considered pool champions in the LRT record books.
Pilz and Sullivan are Newington High School freshmen. Kagan is a Class of 1999 NHS grad, and is now a graduate student at Southern New Hampshire University.
The winning trio finished with 359 points apiece out of a possible 477, the fourth-highest winning total in Living Room Times history. 2003 Ithaca grad Kristy LaPlante was next with 349 points, followed by 2001 UConn grad Danielle Thomsen with 344.
University of New Haven sophomore Stacey Tetreault was sixth with 342 points. Dennis Chow, a high-school classmate and soccer teammate of Kagan’s, who finished second in the men’s pool, was seventh in the women’s pool with 337 points.
Ohio resident and Brendan Loy’s uncle Scott Loomer, who would have won the pool if Tennessee had beaten UConn, tied USC 2002 grad Kristy McCray and UConn 2003 grad Jenn Castelhano for eighth place with 336 points apiece.
Castelhano is the only other contestant ever to make a serious run at winning both LRT pools in the same year. In 2001, she stayed alive in both pools deep into the tournaments, and was first on both leaderboards at one point during the Sweet Sixteen. She wound up winning the men’s pool while finishing third in the women’s, and the next year, she came back and won the men’s pool to become the first-ever two-time pool champion in LRT history.
But now Castelhano has been surpassed by Kagan, who will head into 2005 as a defending champion in not just one, but two, Living Room Times pools.
Kagan’s high-school classmate and soccer teammate Todd Stigliano — himself a one-time LRT pool champion — congratulated Kagan on the Pick 65 message boards Tuesday. Quoting another soccer teammate and LRT pool champ, Stigliano wrote: “Kagan……in the words of Matt Thomsen……’You’re HUGE!!’”
Kagan finished second in last year’s women’s pool.
For complete, final standings of The Living Room Times’s seventh annual women’s basketball pool, click here.