2016 College Championships – Semifinals Preview

Semifinal #1: Monday, February 8, 2016
Niki Peters
Sophomore, University of California, Berkeley
Boise, ID
Friday, 1st, $24,400
25 R, 2 W, 1/1 DDs, $20,200 Coryat
Gus Woythaler
Senior, Stanford University
Encino, CA
Thursday, 1st, $22,222
25 R, 1 W, 1/1 DDs, $17,800 Coryat
Emily Sun
Freshman, Columbia University
San Diego, CA
Monday, 1st, $8,999
16 R, 5 W, 0/1 DDs, $11,600 Coryat
Andy’s Thoughts: Of the three semifinals, this semifinal looks to have the most fireworks, with the top 2 players from the quarterfinals paired here in the semi. The show looks like it’s going to be playing up the Cal-Stanford rivalry here. If Emily negs five times like she did in the quarterfinal, she’s going to give up a lot of ground to the two Pac-12 representatives, and it will be very difficult for her to play spoiler. I am hard-pressed to pick a winner in this semifinal; it definitely feels like it’s a toss-up between the two Big Game rivals. Play it 10 times, and I’d say Niki takes 5, Gus 4, and Emily 1.


Semifinal #2: Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Emily Bingham
Senior, Wright State University
Dayton, OH
Tuesday, 1st, $17,600
19 R, 2 W, 2/2 DDs, $15,400 Coryat
Sam Deutsch
Junior, University of Southern California
Bethesda, MD
Wednesday, 1st, $14,401
17 R, 2 W, 1/1 DDs, $12,400 Coryat
Hannah Norem
Sophomore, Augustana University
Houston, TX
Thursday, 3rd, $14,400
11 R, 4 W, 0/0 DDs, $7,400 Coryat
Andy’s Thoughts: To me, it felt as though Emily played the best out of these three during their respective quarterfinals. Although the buzzer can be fickle sometimes, I think that Emily’s knowledge base, especially in academic categories, will give her an advantage. Sam went 1/5 or 2/5 in every single category in his quarterfinal, whereas Emily had a 4/5 in literature. I can’t see an entire set of boards without something bookish on it, and I expect Emily would use that to build an advantage. Hannah had a good late run in her game, and she could play spoiler here, especially if that late run is indicative of having found the buzzer timing. Of course, they call it Jeopardy! for a reason, and every player has a puncher’s chance every time out. If you played this 10 times, I’d say that Emily takes 5, Sam 3 or 4, and Hannah 1 or 2.


Semifinal #3: Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Ziad Ali
Freshman, North Carolina State University
Oak Ridge, NC
Friday, 2nd, $21,600
13 R, 1 W, 1/1 DDs, $9,600 Coryat
Sarah Dubnik
Senior, University of Pittsburgh
Jamison, PA
Thursday, 2nd, $14,801
17 R, 1 W, 2/2 DDs, $11,600 Coryat
Kate Laubscher
Sophomore, Northeastern University
Woodside, CA
Tuesday, 2nd, $14,400
9 R, 3 W, 0/0 DDs, $7,200 Coryat
Andy’s Thoughts: In this matchup between three wildcards, Sarah played very gamely against Gus, and Ziad and Kate both doubled up in Final Jeopardy in order to snatch their spot in the semis. Sarah definitely felt like the strongest of the three players, but it would not surprise me to see Ziad connect on a huge late-game Daily Double. It’s hard to predict a game between three wild cards, though. My official prediction: It’ll be close, and whomever is in third will have a chance to win a Triple Stumper Final Jeopardy. If you played this semifinal 10 times, I’d say Sarah would win 5, Ziad 3, and Kate 2.