Tom K., a.k.a. Scientizzle, clinched victory in the first-ever NIT pool as South Carolina defeated Maryland in the semifinals Tuesday night, 75-67.

Scientizzle, who asked that his last name not be used for privacy reasons, is a 2003 USC graduate who is now a Ph.D. student at Oregon Health & Science University, has 311 points. Mike Quinn, a 2001 Illinois State grad, is second with 309 points, but has no hope of passing Scientizzle now that his predicted champion, Maryland, has been eliminated.

Scientizzle is the first USC student or alum to win a pool administered by Brendan Loy. However, his victory does not break Troy’s drought in Living Room Times pools, as the NIT pool is a “just for fun” contest sponsored by, not an official Times pool. (Counting this year’s women’s pool, which no longer has any Trojan contenders, USC contestants are now 0-for-10 in Living Room Times pools since Loy first began inviting his fellow Trojans to join his pools in 2000, his freshman year at ‘SC. Andrew Long has a chance to break that drought in the men’s pool this year.)

No one in the NIT pool picked either of the finalists, South Carolina or St. Joe’s, to win the tournament. Thus, the current standings are effectively the final standings; Thursday’s title game will not affect anyone’s point total.

After Scientizzle and Quinn, Notre Dame 1Ls Chris McLemore (who attended U. of Denver and Kansas State) and Chris Aemisegger (a DePaul alum) are third and fourth with 304 and 292 points, respectively.

Terry Wood, a Memphis grad who would have won the pool if Maryland had bowed out a round earlier (to TCU in the quarterfinals), is fifth with 291 points.

Detroit alum Larry Caplin (280 points), Indiana alum and Notre Dame 1L Nick Surmacz (279), Newington High School sophomore Danny Pilz (272), Arizona State alum and ND 1L Brian Kiolbasa (270), and Georgetown and USC alum Boi From Troy (267) round out the Top Ten.

The maximum possible point total is 477. However, because the NIT is not a 64-team tournament, and because five games had already been decided before the pool began, everyone in the pool started with 155 “freebie” points. Thus, for example, pool champion Scientizzle’s “earned” point total is 156 out of a possible 322 — less than half of the maximum, demonstrating the unpredictability of the unseeded NIT.

Complete standings here and below.

1. Tom K. 311
2. Mike Quinn 309
3. Chris McLemore 304
4. Chris Aemisegger 292
5. Terry Wood 291
6. Larry Caplin 280
7. Nick Surmacz 279
8. Danny Pilz 272
9. Brian Kiolbasa 270
10. Boi From Troy 267
11. Bea Duque 265
11. Josh Rubin 265
13. Kate Spitz 263
14. Weston Cross 259
15. Paul Zak 248
16. Casual Observer 240
17. Paul Lucht 238
18. Kevin Hauschulz 236
19. Brendan Loy 228
20. Jay Barasch 222
21. Barbara Maier 219
22. Mike Wiser 218
23. Kristy LaPlante 211
23. Andrew Long 211
25. Becky Zak 196


  1. Scientizzle says:

    I’d like to thank the Terps for choking. This is the first NIT pool I’ve ever won!

    Bummer Michigan State and Utah had to screw my NCAA pool over…

  2. Andrew says:

    Woohoo, I didn’t finish in last! You suck, Becky, hahahaha!

  3. Mike says:

    What about the fact that you won one of your own pools before you became a USC student, Brendan?

  4. Brendan says:

    Doesn’t count, because I wasn’t a Trojan then. I wasn’t even a twinkle in Steven Sample’s eye. :) Also, you’ll note that I specifically said “USC contestants are now 0-for-10 in Living Room Times pools since…2000.”

    The whole idea of the “Trojan drought” stems from the original divide between “Newington contestants” and “USC contestants.” Of course, nowadays there are many other categories — Notre Dame contestants, Becky’s friends & family contestants, regular blog-reader contestants, random Google-search contestants — and sometimes the categories even overlap (e.g. Scientizzle and Boi From Troy; are they “regular blog-reader contestants” or “USC contestants”?), whereas back in the day (2000-02), I was really the only contestant who fit into two categories (NHS and USC). But still, the bottom line is that a Trojan hasn’t won the pool since there was such a thing as a “USC contestant.”

  5. isuquinndog says:

    Congrats, Tom! When I saw Maryland was down huge at halftime, I knew it was over. So close, yet so far.

  6. Andrew says:

    Brendan, if I win the Men’s Tourney and if I somehow came in dead last in the NIT picks, would that have been the first time someone has come in first in one pool and last in another?

  7. Brendan says:

    Yes, Andrew, but only because I’ve never had an NIT pool before.

  8. Andrew says:

    Dude, you misread me. “…[W]ould that have been the first time someone has come in first in one pool and last in another?” Thus your women’s basketball tourney pools counts, too.