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'Tis the season: ASU Academic Bowl promises a showdown of epic proportions

2012 ASU Academic Bowl winning team
October 01, 2013

Ah, the proverbial signs of fall in Arizona: iced pumpkin spice lattes, the stubborn resolve of hopeful hoodie wearers, leaves continuing to be green and – perhaps the most beloved of them all – the ASU Academic Bowl!

What autumnal season would be complete without the university’s annual mind-bending battle of wits?

You don’t need to buzz in, because that’s a rhetorical question. The answer is, of course, none; no autumnal season would be complete without it.

So this Oct. 7, 8 and 10, grab your thinking caps and claim your spot in the peanut gallery, because this year’s competition is sure to be a doozie.

Opening rounds:
4-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., Oct. 7, Pima Room, Memorial Union
4-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., Oct. 8, Pima Room, Memorial Union

With fifteen teams from schools and colleges across the university, whether you’re a book worm, a tortured artist or a more of a mathlete, you’re sure to have a favorite to root for. These braniac students will compete head-to-head, quiz-show style, in teams of four for a chance to win a whopping $24,000 in scholarship money. The glorious championship trophy and the promise of some justified smack talk don’t hurt, either.

In preparation for the showdown, sustainability student Mary Munoz Encincas has been practicing trivia questions with her team. “During practices, we've realized that everybody has knowledge of diverse topics and we complement each other in different areas, so I feel confident. I know we'll do a good job,” she said.

Salome Chuma, an exploratory theatre student at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, says trying to learn too much new information beforehand could backfire in the high pressure environment of the competition. Instead, she’s focusing on her strengths: “Pop culture, sports and religion are second nature to me.”

Opening rounds are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., Oct. 7, in the Memorial Union, Pima Room, on the Tempe campus. The second night of opening round competition continues Oct. 8, with the semi-final and final rounds set to take place at 7 p.m., Oct. 10, in the Eight, Arizona PBS studios on the Downtown Phoenix campus. Check the schedule for more details.

We've got you covered: Can't make it to the opening rounds in the Memorial Union? 

• follow the action on Twitter: @asunews_insider will be live tweeting, hashtag #ASUacbowl
• watch the competition live on ASUtv and ASUtv Ustream
• live web stream, Twitter updates, videos, photos and articles at

If you need to get pumped beforehand, consider some light shadowboxing to the sweet rhythms of “Mean Girls’” star mathlete and lyrical genius, Kevin G: “All you sucka MC’s ain’t got nothin’ on me / On my grades, on my lines, you can’t touch Kevin G / I’m a mathlete, I’m a nerd / But forget what you heard, I’m like James Bond the third / Shaken, not stirred.”

Now let’s get ready to rumble!