First night of opening rounds sends CTI, Engineering to the semi-finals

ASU Academic Bowl

An exciting first night of opening rounds kicked off the 2012 ASU Academic Bowl, as two teams proved unstoppable in their quest for semi-finals action. The College of Technology & Innovation and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Maroon team successfully advanced through the opening rounds, sending the six other teams packing.

Learn about how the game is played here.


Opening rounds:
4-6 p.m. & 7-9 p.m., Oct. 1, Pima Room, MU
4-6 p.m. & 7-9 p.m., Oct. 2, Pima Room, MU


The first half of the night's opening rounds was moderated by Elizabeth Langland, university vice provost and dean of the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences.

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications started off against College of Technology and Innovation (CTI), nabbing the first toss-up question about Okinawa island. However, after missing all three subsequent bonus questions on material sciences, Cronkite quickly lost their footing and gave CTI the chance to overtake them. In the end, CTI proved victorious in a strong win, 135-50.

The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College had a great start against the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, after correctly answering a toss-up question about Zen Buddhism and then sweeping all three bonus questions about summer blockbuster movies. But New College immediately hit back taking the next toss-up and its series of bonus questions and tied it 40-40. The tie would be short-lived however, with the Teachers College practically sweeping the rest of the match. Final score: 260-40. 

Winners CTI and the Teachers College were pitted against each other in the third match of the first half. Both teams displayed a wide range of knowledge, ranging from Harry Potter to foreign politics. In the end, the Teachers College couldn’t quite keep up, and CTI took the match 170-30 after correctly answering an entire set of bonus questions about the Civil War.

In a fight against elimination, the Cronkite School and New College battled it out in the fourth match over questions on chemistry and literature. After a bonus round about actor Ed O’Neill, the Cronkite School held a decent lead and New College was never able to come back on top, eventually losing 40-140.

In the second elimination round, Cronkite was up once again, this time against the Teachers College. It was a slow start, with both teams missing a few toss-up questions, but after Cronkite School answered a question correctly about France and took two out of the three bonus questions on the civil rights movement, they were up 50-0.

Teachers College eventually got some points on the board and then tied right at the end, only barely missing a win when the buzzer sounded before they could answer a bonus question about the Aztecs. This put the match into sudden death, and one toss-up question was all that stood between the winner and the eliminated. Teachers College buzzed in an incorrect answer regarding an astronomy term and in doing so, were the next to be eliminated.

In the final match of the first half, the College of Technology and Innovation wasted no time taking the lead after grabbing the first toss-up and then sweeping through the bonus questions. It was a lead they held on to, only letting the Cronkite School earn 10 points for most of the match, after Cronkite correctly answered a question on Greek philosopher Aristotle. Eventually Cronkite was able to squeeze in a few more points, but it wasn’t enough and they lost to CTI – the final score 210-60.

The CTI members that helped lead their team to the finals tonight consisted of Jonathan Isaiah, engineering; Mikel Robinson, technology entrepreneurship and management; Daniel Aukland, engineering; and Brian Washburn, aeronautical management technology.


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Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, executive director of ASU Gammage, was the moderator for the second half of the night. 

In the first matchup of the second half, the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts team was the first to get on the scoreboard after successfully answering questions about the Bronte sisters. Herberger Gold maintained their stride, leading by close to 100 points, before the members of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, with stethoscopes draped around their necks, even had a chance to buzz in.

From Aesop to Austen, the Herberger Gold team was on fire when it came to questions of the literary type, but fell short on math and science subjects. Buzzing in for toss-ups on art history helped give Herberger a sizable lead over Nursing, as the team won additional points for history questions and the works of Mark Twain. Nursing came alive on the board with a chemistry question and managed to rack up a few more points before the final score was called at 170 to 35 at match's end, Herberger Gold. 

The second match of the half pitted the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts Maroon team against the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Maroon team, a team that started strong. The engineers quickly packed on the points by correctly answering questions pertaining to everything from literature to Kepler's Laws. Geography was the magic word for Herberger Maroon, who found a place on the scoreboard after successfully answering a question about the province named for a "swiftly flowing river" (answer: Saskatchewan).

Poised with pencil and paper, Engineering Maroon fired through a series of geometry bonus questions like it was nothing, as they pulled ahead with a staggering 200-10 lead, which didn't stop. American political and constitutional history gave them an untouchable edge, as the engineers finished things off with a series of math questions – nearly answering all of them correctly. The final score was 340-10, Engineering Maroon.

The second-half winners – Herberger Gold and Engineering Maroon – faced one another in the third match of the night. Still amped from their fresh win, Engineering leaped onto the scoreboard with a soft spot for genome types. Correctly answering questions about Civil War generals, Herberger caught up to Engineering and gained a 30-point lead with the help of some well-answered geography and history questions. Questions regarding Margaret Mitchell's "Gone With the Wind" was enough for Engineering to regain their lead though. And much to the audience's delight, Engineering correctly answered questions about LOLCats. 

Going neck and neck, the teams continued battling for toss-up questions, as all eyes anxiously glanced at the scoreboard. Herberger pulled ahead, then Engineering caught up and took the tiniest of leads, only to be passed again by Herberger. When the buzzer rang, Herberger Gold had defeated Engineering Maroon 170-155.

Both teams – the College of Nursing and Health Innovation and the Herberger Maroon team – were looking for their first win in the fourth match of the second half. Nursing put a fast 40 points on the board, as Herberger Maroon struggled to answer Greek and Roman history. Herberger found its rhythm though and quickly doubled Nursing's score with questions that ran the gamut from music to human anatomy.

A correctly answered "Star Trek" question led to a series of Pacific Northwest bonus questions for the Herberger Maroon team, who led the match into its final clock-ticking moments. When the match was over, Herberger Maroon had predictably won with a final score of 170 to 65.

They met again in the fifth match: the Herberger Maroon team and the Engineering Maroon team. Both teams gained early points at the same mellow speed, but things changed as the engineers gained ground. With a 100-point lead, Engineering confidently answered history, humanities and – go figure – electrical engineering questions. 

Herberger hung on but just barely – losing point opportunities on who penned "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."  They managed to rack up a few more points, however, giving Engineering a narrower lead. But math and science questions would solidify the team's lead, as they won the match 215-85. 

In the final match of the second half, Enginering Maroon and Herberger Gold faced each other – demanding to know who would advance to the semi-final round. Relying on their quick buzzing and recall capabilities, Engineering Maroon was the first to get on the board, but the not-to-be-underestimated Herberger Gold soon followed. Joyously answering questions about Beatles' songs, Herberger took an early 50-point lead. Correctly answering the names of historic battles, the Engineering team – ready to do battle itself – evened the score.

Engineering pulled ahead by a gap that was quickly closed, as Herberger matched the lead. "Raul Castro," "Lebanon" and "Moses" were all correct answers to questions fired off in the final moments of the match. As the clock wound down, the teams went neck and neck – but a series of math questions would ultimately give Engineering Maroon a slight edge over Herberger Gold. J.D. Salinger's novels brought the engineers into the homestretch with a less precarious lead, as Herberger struggled to hide their disappointment. The final score was 225 to 140, Engineering Maroon – and the two teams were then launched into a pins-and-needles double-elimination round. 

So, who would finally be eliminated? It was a toss-up. The last round of the night saw two teams on their A-games, but Engineering took the early lead. U.S. Presidents and songs about scorned women gave Herberger some leverage, and once again the audience cheered and gasped over the balanced score. Bonus questions about the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright were welcomed by Herberger, who answered them all. Engineering impressively rebuttled with correct answers to British literature questions. 

Once again, with pencil and paper, the engineers took a 25-point lead with a set of math questions. And, once again, Herberger caught up, through a series of corporate headquarter location questions. The lead switched hands as swiftly as a ball in a game of catch. Herberger's correct answer to a math question requiring pencil and paper led to wild cheers from the audience, leading to a set of bonus questions that created a 5-point lead, only to be lost as fast as it was gained. Greek mythology gave Engineering Maroon a smooth 35 points – a lead big enough to give them the match when the final score was called: 205 to 155.

And that was all, folks. The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Maroon team will join the College of Technology and Innovation team in the semi-finals of the 2012 ASU Academic Bowl. We will find out tomorrow night the two other teams that will be competing with them.

The second night of opening round competition continues from 4 to 9 p.m., Oct. 2, in the Memorial Union Pima Room. The semi-final and final rounds are set to take place Oct. 4, in the Eight, Arizona PBS studios on the Downtown Phoenix campus.