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Academic Bowl teams advance to semi-finals

October 19, 2007

With the close of an exciting quarterfinal competition, the remaining teams are looking ahead to the Academic Bowl semi-finals.

After thrilling, triple-overtime play, it looked like the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education was the victor in third match play of the ASU Academic Bowl quarterfinals.

After cheers died down, however, their competitor, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, filed a protest after an observant fan reported a rule violation.

When tapes were reviewed, the protest held. Players are not allowed to converse during “toss up” questions of play, and the College of Education violated that rule. The point of infraction occurred before overtime play, and Cronkite was declared the winner.

It was a night filled with excitement, upsets and amazing intellectual play as the eight quarterfinal teams battled it out for chance to advance to next week’s semi-finals.

The first match of the evening, moderated by Gail Hackett, vice provost and dean of University College, saw the Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness pull out an upset victory over the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, the defending champs.

The Fulton team, comprised of Joe Jannuzzi, Tim Shaw, Karl Sturm and Paul Gambill jumped out to a 150-85 lead at the half. The competition, however, heated up within minutes of the second half when the Morrison School team of Michael Zajas, Michael Neider, Andrea McBurney and Mark Chancerelle pulled within five points of the lead, by answering this question correctly: Its streets were laid out by cows (Boston).

The rest of the match see-sawed back and forth with the Morrison School finally jumping out to the lead when Chancerelle answered this question correctly: What character did these three actors, Jesse White, Gordon Jump and Hardy Rawls, play? Answer: the Maytag repairman.

The Morrison School held the lead and was declared the winner, 230-225.

The second match of the evening featured the W.P. Carey School of Business against the College of Human Services. Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, executive director of ASU Public Affairs, served as the moderator.

With a near capacity crowd cheering on both teams, the School of Business, comprised of Rishi Mohnot, Aaron Oaks, Derek Guizado and Alexander Porter, took an early 140-0 lead.

The Human Services team, which included Jared Tremp, Ruth Faulkner, Alex Quinn and Kate McCausland, got on the board midway through the first half when Faulkner correctly identified the “O.J. Simpson of Fall River, Mass.,” as Lizzie Borden.

Each team emerged strong in the second half and Human Services began gaining some ground advancing the score to 175-70. But that’s as close as they would get, as the School of Business put it away, emerging victorious, 320-145.

The next match that featured the controversial victory of the Cronkite School over the Fulton School of Education raised the evening’s excitement to a fever pitch. Cheered on by enthusiastic fans, it was clear from the onset that the teams were intellectually matched.

The Cronkite School team of Joe Cox, Jordan Lapier, Justin Adams and Meghan Getz shot out to an early 100-0 lead, before Nathaniel Hudson from the College of Education put his team on the board by correctly answering “Charles Lindbergh” to the question, “Who flew the Spirit of St. Louis?”

It was neck and neck throughout the first half of the match, until Hudson, joined by his teammates Tyler Edwards, Jessica Dailey and Katarina Gomez tied it up at 115-115 after answering correctly a series of questions related to the “Star Wars” film series.

The battle continued throughout the second half, ending in a 245-245 tie, forcing sudden death overtime. While it appeared that the Cronkite School lost the match 240-245 after having 5 points deducted for answering incorrectly before the question was fully read, the results were overturned when it was confirmed that the School of Education had violated a rule earlier in the match. That violation cost them 40 points, which made Cronkite the winner by a 245-205 score.

The final match of the evening, moderated by Bill Silcock, assistant professor of journalism and mass communication, featured the Herberger College of the Arts matching wits with the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in a nail-biter that went right down to the final buzzer.

Play was evenly matched in the first half with Herberger College – comprised of students Ronald Strauss, Sarah Denney, Rachel Kavanaugh and Randy Forte – and CLAS – comprised of Erin Hutchinson, Carlos Ross, Ken Lan and Eli Bliss – trading the lead. CLAS was ahead by a 110-85 margin going into the second half.

Herberger College, however, came roaring back, pushing the score to 145-105 and 185-155, before CLAS rallied back to tie 195-195. With time running out, fans were on the edge of their seats as each team gained and lost advantage. CLAS eventually broke a 235-235 tie by answering this question correctly: What athletic field is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide? Answer: “polo.” As time ran out, CLAS was victorious, 265-235.

The Academic Bowl concludes next Tuesday, Oct. 23, with the semi-finals and finals taking place at Eight/KAET-TV studios on the Tempe Campus. A pre-match reception for the teams and their supporters will be held at 6 p.m.

Match play kicks off at 7 p.m. with the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences facing off against the Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness in the first semi-final match. The Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the W.P. Carey School of Business will compete at 7:45 p.m.

The final match to determine the winner of the $4,500 scholarship prizes, and the coveted President’s Cup will be held at 8:30 p.m.