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Sun Devil Quizbowl team to face off against University of Arizona

February 04, 2011

Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Quizbowl Division II team, led by coach Kenneth Lan, is expected to face off against the University of Arizona Wildcat team on Feb.  5 in Tucson at the Association of College Unions International Region 13 National Academic Quiz Tournaments Division II Sectional Championship.

“I think we have a reasonably good shot at beating our Wildcat rivals for the Region 13 title,” Lan said. “Hopefully, we’ll also qualify for nationals.”

The National Academic Quiz Tournaments represent one of two major national college Quizbowl competitions. At the college level, NAQT runs sectionals for each of the 16 ACUI regions, which qualify top teams to national competitions. These competitions are divided into Division I (veteran) and Division II (novice) levels, which compete separately.

“ACUI Region 13 is relatively new to Quizbowl, so this year’s Region 13 NAQT Sectionals will be Division II-only,” Lan explained. “ASU’s other Quizbowl team, the veteran Division I team  will travel to the Region 15 NAQT Sectional in California, since there are no other Division I teams in this area. The California veteran teams have a lot more experience than we do - it is only our third year as a team -  so winning even one match there would be an upset of epic proportions. We are hoping to do well enough to earn a wild-card bid to Division I NAQT nationals.”

Last year, ASU placed 25th  in Division I at the 2010 NAQT Nationals in a contest that pitted ASU against veteran teams for the first time, and the Division II team placed 22nd. The Division I finish made ASU a top-25 team for the first time.

“This year, UA has reformed their Quizbowl team and they’re hosting the 2011 ACUI Region 13 NAQT Sectional, and we have a new group of players at ASU,” Lan said. “There are two ASU teams and two UA teams competing, all in Division II. The winning team has a chance to qualify to the Division II NAQT Intercollegiate Championship in April.”

Lan explains that “the ASU team will be without two of its top five players, but we have been competing in smaller invitationals throughout the year and gaining experience.” As a coach, he’s confident in the team’s chances against  UA this year.

NAQT also licenses high-school competitions nationwide, and college teams frequently host these high-school tournaments as fundraisers, with collegiate team members acting as moderators and scorekeepers. ASU will host two such competitions this semester -  the NAQT high-school spring invitational on Feb. 12 and the Arizona NAQT State Championship, which determines the official high school state champion, on April 2.

Many don’t realize that the rivalry between ASU and UA reaches beyond athletics into academics,” Lan said. “This could be a new battlefield for the Territorial Cup.”

Jeanne Schaser,
(480) 965-3502
Media Relations