Congratulations to Tommy Lemoine of Manchester, New Hampshire who earned himself a lifetime subscription to my site by virtue of winning the Mountain West tourney contest. Tommy is a recent Michigan State grad and here was his winning scorecard:

Question Pick Result
What will be San Diego State’s largest lead against Boise State? 12 11
How many points will Hank Thorns score against Colorado State? 17 19
How many points will Michael Lyons score against New Mexico? 17 13
How many offensive rebounds will UNLV get against Wyoming? 7 6
How many points will Colorado State score in the second half against San Diego State? 30 30
How many rebounds will Drew Gordon get against UNLV? 11 13
How many three-point attempts will New Mexico and San Diego State combine to take? 36 37

The total error for the seven questions was 11, which was good enough to beat out six other contestants by one point. Although after missing Michael Lyons’ point total by four in the third game of the tourney, it appeared Mr. Lemoine was done for. Even he admitted he thought he was doomed at this point. In an interview, Lemoine described the emotional roller-coaster of the next three nights…

I thought I was surely out of the running when Michael Lyons scored 17 points on Thursday, giving me an absolute difference of 7 through only 3 games. Things became a little less bleak when UNLV grabbed 6 offensive rebounds that night. When I was dead-on with Colorado St.’s 30-point second half against SDSU (I couldn’t believe it—that was almost entirely a ‘gut’ pick), I figured I had a shot.

As for the Championship: the ESPN box score originally had each team pegged for 18 three-point attempts when last night’s game went final. I thought they’d called Tapley’s garbage-time shot a two—I even convinced myself his foot was on the line—but a few minutes later they credited it a three, bringing the combined attempts up to 37. Indeed, I thought that lone, stat-padding shot attempt might cost me the contest. I’m grateful and happy it did not.

Mr. Lemoine also admitted, as all great champions do, that he “got very lucky”. There was some luck involved of course – while he would have won whether Tapley’s late shot was ruled a three or a two, Lemoine benefited from an inconsequential garbage-time three-pointer by Colorado State’s Dorian Green at the final horn of the fifth game that allowed Lemoine to nail the Rams’ second-half total on the number. (No joke, the handshake line had started before Green released his shot.)

Nonetheless, Mr. Lemoine put himself in position to win with good picks and now owns a subscription to my web site through December 31, 2099, and as he puts it, “looks forward to a lifetime of tempo-free statistics.”

Congrats to Tommy and thanks to all the people that entered the contest. I hope to do more of this in the future.