Channel Madness: Comeback Kids McCullough, Carter Advance To Championship


The Semifinal round of the CRN Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs exemplified the "don't ever give up" attitude, as the victors of both matchups orchestrated come-from-behind wins to advance to the Final round.

As of Friday afternoon, NetApp's Jeff McCullough was trailing in his matchup against Lenovo's Rob Cato with just 32 percent of the vote, but he surged throughout weekend voting to overtake Cato and win it with 53 percent to Cato's 47 percent.

On the other side of the bracket, FireEye's Chris Carter had fallen behind with 42 percent of the vote in his matchup against VMware's Jenni Flinders, but Carter dug deep and was able to pull out the victory with 65 percent of the vote to Flinders' 35 percent.

That means McCullough has fought his way into the final for the second year in row, where he'll face off against Carter for the championship.

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Representing the Infrastructure region, McCullough's round to the final started in Round 1 when he jumped out early against Eaton's Curtiz Gangi in Round 1 and never let up, winning with 79 percent of the vote. He looked strong in his Round 2 victory over Shannon Sbar of APC by Schneider Electric, winning 74 percent of the vote, and found a solid game plan for his Quarterfinal matchup against Gordon Mackintosh of Extreme Networks, winning 56 percent of the vote. Then he bested Cato in the Semifinals.

From the Security region, tournament rookie Carter first claimed victory against SonicWall's HoJin Kim, winning 60 percent of the vote in Round 1, then pulled off the upset of the tournament in Round 2, beating last year's champ, Ken McCray of McAfee, with 59 percent of the vote. He brought his ‘A game’ to his Quarterfinal matchup against Kendra Krause of Sophos, winning 66 percent of the vote before beating out Flinders in the Semifinals.

McCullough vs. Carter for the CRN Channel Madness championship kicks off today at 4:00 p.m. ET and closes Wednesday, April 3 at 10:00 a.m. ET. Visit to cast your votes and choose your chief!