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Teams advance to semi-finals for chance to win prize money

October 04, 2011

And then there were four. In the late hours of Tuesday evening, in the Memorial Union, two more teams advanced to the semi-finals of the Academic Bowl: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Gold team and the W. P. Carey School of Business team. 

Having prevailed through a dramatic series of preliminary matches (detailed below), these two teams will join the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Maroon team and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Gold team, Thursday night, on the Downtown Phoenix campus, to battle their way to the championship round.  

May the best college win.

(See how your skills stack up with some questions listed at the bottom that the teams missed.)

Match 1 – First Opening Round 

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, executive director of ASU Public Events, moderated the first opening round of the second night. 

In the first match of the night, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication Gold team faced off against the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Gold team – a serious threat in this sixth annual ASU Academic Bowl. Returning champions, the CLAS Gold team is an exact replica of last year's team, and they wasted no time getting reoriented with the game on the quiz show stage. 

Racking up a staggering 310 points before Cronkite Gold could even buzz in for a toss-up question, CLAS Gold showed their academic prowess for all things historical, philosophical, mathematical, scientific and political. By match's end, CLAS Gold had managed to answer 90 percent of the questions and nearly all of them correctly. The final score was 365-5.

"We feel we have a healthy chance," said Ana Ordonez, after her team politely demolished Cronkite Gold. "We definitely have some good games ahead of us." 

Match 2

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Maroon team got off to an A+ start in their matchup against the University College team with their knowledge of British monarchs, Shakespeare, American songs and hymns, and world capitals, among other subjects. In the end, the engineers triumphed over University College with a whopping 270 points to 20 points. 

Match 3

After a quick pep talk and what appeared to be a group hug, CLAS Gold returned to the stage with confidence to compete against the Engineering Maroon team, the victors of the previous match. In typical fashion, CLAS Gold won the first 100 points, silencing its opponent. The team answered nearly everything thrown at them – from the Pythagorean theorem to Toni Morrison – forcing the ever-witty Jennings-Roggensack to begin to sound like a broken record: "That is correct." 

The Engineering Maroon team is a tough team to beat, but you wouldn't have guessed it after watching them battle CLAS. When the clock stopped, the scoreboard read 420-35 – and CLAS Gold left the bewildered Engineering Maroon team behind.

Match 4

Back for redemption, the University College team and the Cronkite Gold team went head-to-head in the fourth match of the night. Professional tennis players and the menacing nature of apples in literature brought Cronkite Gold to life with a quick 80 points. University College came back defensively with a fast 30 points – but it would not be enough to defeat Cronkite Gold. University College was sent home after losing to Cronkite, 270-70. 

Match 5

After winning their first match of the night, Cronkite Gold faced off against the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Maroon team for what they hoped would be their second win. But Engineering Maroon would not give up that easy. The two teams battled it out in what was an extremely close competition, as both teams went point for point, flexing some serious academic muscle. WIth a dramatic tie score of 140-140 with less than five minutes to go in the match, Engineering Maroon pulled ahead only to beat Cronkite Gold by 20 points. The final score was so close – 160-140 – that it needed to be verified by the judges. 

Match 6

In the match that would determine the third team to advance to the semi-finals, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Maroon team fought hard against the almighty CLAS Gold team. From chemical alitropes to African nations, Engineering Maroon won a series of well-deserved points for toss-ups while staying hot on the trail of CLAS Gold. With a score of 215-190 favoring CLAS Gold, a wave of worry passed over the CLAS Gold team as a confident Engineering team successfully answered question after question. When the buzzer rang, the final score was 235-200. CLAS Gold had hung onto their perfect record by a thread. They are headed to the semi-finals.  

Match 1 – Second Opening Round

Kent Hopkins, vice provost of enrollment management at ASU, moderated the night's second opening round. 

The team from the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Maroon team from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication competed in the first match of the second opening round of the night.

The Business team was first to come alive on the scoreboard, but Cronkite Maroon soon caught up as both teams went neck-and-neck during the first half. Breaking away from Cronkite Maroon to stack up 50-plus points, the Business School gained a healthy lead. Cronkite managed to catch up, but not enough to defeat the businessmen. W. P. Carey won the match with a final score of 140-100. 

Match 2

The New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences battled against the College of Public Programs in the second match of the night. Questions about geography, dance styles, and the White House helped Public Programs to a series of won points. With 100 points, Public Programs effectively silenced its opponent through swift buzzing and extreme focus. The New College team managed to get on the board and nearly catch up with 60 points through winning a series of toss-ups and bonus questions. In what was one of the more impressive comebacks of the competition, New College gained on Public Programs with great speed and showed prowess with science-related questions.

And, much to the amazement of the audience, the players and the moderator, the New College team pulled ahead to beat Public Programs by a mere 5 points. It all came down to the last question, which Public Programs was lucky to have won. 

Match 3

Still reeling from their unexpected win, the New College team faced the W. P. Carey team in the third match of the round. Hollywood film trivia bumped the New College ahead by 30 points, while the Business team soon followed by correctly answering bonus questions about waves. And before long, Business was leading New College by 40 points. W. P. Carey's lead deepened with questions about poets, emperors and the planet Mercury. When time was up, the W. P. Carey team had won with a final score of 215-80. 

Match 4

Trying to stay in the game, the Cronkite Maroon team fought hard against the College of Public Programs – a team that likes to take the lead early on, and early on they did. Questions about the Norse god Thor, television sitcoms from the 1980s and 1990s, and proteins were both answered and missed by the teams. Public Programs took the match 120-85. 

Match 5

New College was off to a good start, grabbing 40 points early on, as College of Public Programs picked up the pace with their knowledge of electrons. Questions about baseball, conceptual math and Frederick Douglass invited energetic responses from both teams. With their facts straight on fascist dictators, the New College team won a toss-up, which boosted them to a 70-point lead.

That lead grew narrow, however, when Public Programs rebounded with correctly answered questions about Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." Both teams were nearly tied again – 120 to 110 – mere seconds before the end of the match. In what was poetic justice for Public Programs, the team astonishingly took the lead at the last minute and beat New College by 20 points with a score of 140-120. 


Match 6

The final matchup of the night pitted the W. P. Carey School of Business against the College of Public Programs. Although Public Programs got on the board first and maintained extreme focus, Business was more successful in winning toss-ups and carried a 70-point lead by midway of the match. Business expertise comes from, of all places, the Public Programs team and garners them 20 points – but it's not enough to catch up to the Business team. With their speedy buzzing, W. P. Carey secures a 100-point lead and wins the match 225-115.

The W. P. Carey School is the final team to advance from the opening rounds into the semi-finals.  

Stay tuned for semi-final and final round action of the ASU Academic Bowl, scheduled for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 6, in the Eight, Arizona PBS studio, on the Downtown Phoenix campus.  

Missed questions – see if you can get them:

Name the title of the play by Lorraine Hansberry about an African-American family moving to an all white neighborhood.

Name the title of the novel by V.S. Naipaul about a Trinidadian seeking a house.

What song by The Who contains these lyrics:  "I'll tip my hat to the new constitution / Take a bow for the new revolution … " 

Who wrote "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner" and collaborated with William Wordsworth on a 1791 text? What was the name of that text?