Top five college teams for 2017–18

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Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby 1.82 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:27 am

1. Yale
Much like 2017 Maryland, this Yale team has three Jews, and much like 2017 Maryland, this Yale team will win ACF Nationals. The difference is that Yale will also win ICT. Jacob Reed is one of the few active collegiate quizbowl players good enough to lead a team to a championship, and every team that was better than Yale last year lost a massive portion of its scoring, while Yale remains intact.

2. California
This club has the problem that Chicago had about five years ago, which is that there are a lot of players who are good enough to be contributors on a top-bracket team but not necessarily anyone good enough to lead a team to a national championship. Three of the top eleven seniors at this year's PACE NSC are bound for Berkeley, so the club should remain competitive going forward. That said, given that this is Aseem Keyal's senior year, this year is likely the best shot for this iteration of the Berkeley team. There's likely not enough here to beat Yale, but if Sameer Rai does to the college canon what he did to the high school canon then all bets are off.

3. Ohio State
It's hard to tell exactly how good this team is given that it attended neither nationals last year, but Chris Ray is possibly quizbowl's biggest baller, Clark Smith is reportedly reminiscent of a young Tommy Casalaspi, and Chris has doubtless already found himself a SteveJon to get science. There's a good chance Ohio State will be a serious threat at ICT.

4. Pennsylvania
Eric Mukherjee is very high on Penn, which should be the best team in the Mid-Atlantic as Maryland goes through a rebuilding year. Penn's chances at being nationally competitive will be greatly boosted if Aidan Mehigan and Chris Chiego choose to be heavily involved.

5. Chicago
Given that Chicago finished in fifth place last year and lost Max Schindler, a national championship seems unlikely. Still, alongside John Lawrence Chicago retains Jason Zhou, who adjusted admirably last year to the loss of Chris Ray. Chicago has too much talent to ever really experience a down year.
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Re: Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby Charbroil » Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:39 am

Is Rafael Krichevsky graduating this year? If not, it seems strange to leave Columbia off of this list in favor of 3 teams they placed ahead of at ACF Nationals.
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Re: Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby lumosityfan » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:02 pm

Charbroil wrote:Is Rafael Krichevsky graduating this year? If not, it seems strange to leave Columbia off of this list in favor of 3 teams they placed ahead of at ACF Nationals.


Rafael is graduating in 2018.
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Re: Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:12 pm

My Hot Take:

8. Berkeley B - This is where I think Sameer Rai would fit in best, as a generalist leader where he's not overlapping deeply with a bunch of high-level specialist teammates. Add in some veterans like Michael Coates and John/Rohin, who played quite well at ACF Nationals and will continue to improve, and you've got the beginnings of a old Chicago-style dynasty.

7. Cambridge - This might be a bit of a dark horse, but Jason Golfinos is really, really good. He beat Northwestern by himself and has the ability to get clutch humanities buzzes in pretty much every category but science and music. Guess who he gets to play with? Ewan MacAaulay. Slot out Evan Lynch from this squad and replace him with this dude. I smell some improvement on the way, too.

6. Columbia- I think that Wilton and Kailee's contribution to their ACF Nationals run remains highly underappreciated - Columbia took its games off Michigan, Chicago, Berkeley, and Oxford by single-tossup margins, and those two contributed in excess of 20 PPG. They need to replace that 20 PPG - this is gonna take a commitment from Charlie or Kevin, or someone like *Gerhardt Hinkle* (name corrected) stepping up.

5. OSU - Chris Ray is a known quantity, insofar that he is always an unknown quantity who can take a game off anyone. Clark's showings at college tournaments have been somewhat inconsistent so far. He did great at Terrapin and pretty solidly at TTIAC; his showings at WAO and Penn Bowl were less impressive. Again, getting consistent contributions out of teammates is going to be extremely key here.

4. Chicago - Max's ability to contribute to the Chicago "specialism" model by nailing most science and myth every game, plus getting a crap ton of solid generalist buzzes, will be sorely missed. However, I think people underestimate Chicago's ability to function as a team with a limited amount of high-level science is not well understood - look at the 2014 Chicago Team, on which Max was scoring far less against top teams (aside from a good 3 tossup performance against Yale in the prelims - seriously, look at those playoff performance). Kai Smith, while not as good a high school generalist as Max was, was still a pretty decent one and is even able to contribute arts next to John - doubtless he'll be working on religion and some number of other areas. Jason Zhou could easily surpass Tian/Steinbaum in history ability if he tries. They could try to find a scientist, but they could just as easily pull up a player like Alston Boyd who can contribute a lot of literature and thought questions, or a freshman like Luke Tierney who can add history plus a lot of other good humanities. The path to mACF quizbowl victory is through getting 11-12 tossups, and this does not necessarily have to include four science ones.

3. Berkeley A - I cop to making a big mistake being bullish on Berkeley last year, but I suspect there's more than a little bubbling under the surface after last year's poor performances. I suspect Eric Chen will be back on the A-team after his very strong performance at ACF Nationals - he meshes better with the team's more "specialist/very limited generalist overlap" model than a rusty Sameer Rai.

2. Penn - I'm more confident in Penn this coming year than last, in no small part because they have a much bigger range of options for experienced players. Eric's in his last year and hasn't won an ICT title yet - he's slipped a bit, but this is nothing that a little bit of focus can't fix. There's a stable of solid players he can draw on to fill out a team for ACF Nats, and he may have Chris Chiego again for ICT. I'm making this prediction based on the assumption that Chris plays (at least on NAQT format sets).

1. Yale - It's not even close. Much like Matt Jackson's Yale team, this Yale team doesn't impress you by putting up too many utterly absurd powers, aside from in the music category. Rather, they are steady, don't neg a lot, and have coverage of a lot of areas - and they have three players with the ability to get good science buzzes (one of whom just happens to be the game's best active physics player, and arguably its best active other science player). Their real volatility comes from the "IKD factor" but even then I think they're in a good place.
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby Banana Stand » Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:12 pm

Ditto on Cambridge, and I don't even think it's much of a hot take. Anyone who has played with/against Golfinos knows he's legit, and give him some teammates that can cover his weaknesses? Spooky. #7 seems a bit low, tbh.
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Re: Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby AGoodMan » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:11 pm

Here are some D2 teams to watch out for, based on what/who I know. Teams are in no particular order.

Incoming freshmen:
1. Michigan State (Jakob Myers) - MSU gains Jakob Myers, arguably the best high school player from this past season.

2. Stanford (Ali Saeed, Ashwin Ramaswami, Young Lee) - Stevenson generalist Ali and FA/philo specialist Young Lee, along with Chattahoochee's best player Ashwin will play together. I'm assuming they will join players like Eric Kilgore.

3. Berkeley (Pranav Sivakumar, Rahul Keyal, James Malouf) - Two very good California players and former MSNCT star and FA player Pranav team up in Berkeley. Not to mention the returning Sunny Chen and Solon duo Rohin and John.

4. UChicago (Andy Huff, Matthew Lehmann, Luke Tierney) - Chicago always seems to be good; they are to quiz bowl what Germany is to international soccer.

5. Michigan (Austin Morton, Robert Mansuetti) - Two of PACE-winning DCC players matriculate to Michigan, though I don't know if they are playing. If they do, they should be helpful for Conor Thompson.

Returning sophomores:
1. Illinois (Cole Timmerwilke, Mike Etzkorn) - Give him a couple years, and Mike will become one of the best literature/FA players in the game. You heard it (publicly declared) here first.

2. Delaware (Eric Wolfsberg, Rohan Narayan) - Eric was the best high school player in 2015-16 and is still dominating. Rohan is also very good given his stats, though I do not know him very well.

Honorable mentions:
Harvard, Minnesota, Maryland

EDITED to fix stupid mistakes. Lehmann is actually going to UChicago
*I may have forgotten some people or simply just do not know others. I apologize in advance and this is all just speculation with no malicious intent.
Last edited by AGoodMan on Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby Important Bird Area » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:17 pm

Many of those returning players exhausted their NAQT Division II eligibility in 2016-17 and will be playing SCT and ICT in Division I.
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Re: Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby AGoodMan » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:19 pm

Important Bird Area wrote:Many of those returning players exhausted their NAQT Division II eligibility in 2016-17 and will be playing SCT and ICT in Division I.


Completely forgot about this. I guess treat my entry more like "Good FroshSophs Teams in College"
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Re: Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby Progcon » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:25 pm

AGoodMan wrote:Incoming freshmen:
1. Michigan State (Matthew Lehmann, Jakob Myers) - Two of this year's NASAT-winning Team IL members will play together for four more years. Lehmann led PACE in powers during prelims and Jakob was arguably the best high school player this past season.


Jakob and I have had conversations about him playing D2 ICT next year should the D2 team qualify at SCT. We are not sure he would play D2 should the situation arise because it makes little sense, in my view, to trophy hunt in D2 if we qualify a D1 team for ICT. With Jakob on the D1 team at SCT, I believe we have a puncher's chance of qualifying a team for ICT if we prepare hard and play well.

Edit: Changed in response to John's edit.
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Re: Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby TylerV » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:44 pm

AGoodMan wrote:Here are some D2 teams to watch out for, based on what/who I know. Teams are in no particular order.

Returning D2 eligible:
1. Illinois (Cole Timmerwilke, Mike Etzkorn) - Give him a couple years, and Mike will become one of the best literature/FA players in the game. You heard it (publicly declared) here first.

2. Delaware (Eric Wolfsberg, Rohan Narayan) - Eric was the best high school player in 2015-16 and is still dominating. Rohan is also very good given his stats, though I do not know him very well.

Honorable mentions:
Harvard, Minnesota, Maryland


As much as I wish the eligibility rules were "Div II eligible until you win ICT" both the Illinois and Delaware squads you listed are no longer Division II eligible.

Edit: Oops, I saw this was addressed. To build on what was previously said, I expect Mike Etzkorn to be a force in Midwest qb for as long as he is in college, although I am unsure if Cole is returning.
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Re: Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby nsb2 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:43 am

To add to the DII teams that Jon has already posted, I think Minnesota can make a splash next year. Brian Kalathiveetil and John Waldron are both science players, but they complement each other pretty well in other areas and will only improve with more studying.
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Re: Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby The Bold Ideas of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) » Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:12 pm

Northwestern still has Adam and Greg, if their grad programs don't prevent them from playing, as well as a small but extant supporting cast.
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Re: Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby An Economic Ignoramus » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:42 pm

Brown might be good next year, what with returning Ankush Bajaj and gaining two or three very solid high schoolers.
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Re: Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby Cheynem » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:03 pm

The problem with Brown has been the problem for years and years; they get very talented players and they don't play regularly because the team doesn't really play a lot of things.
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Re: Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby cornfused » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:39 pm

merv1618 wrote:Northwestern still has Adam and Greg, if their grad programs don't prevent them from playing, as well as a small but extant supporting cast.

We'll both be there and will be playing, though neither of us will have a TON of time to put into it. There are, I believe, 2.5 other people (rising juniors Dipayan Banerjee and Amanda Rosner plus incoming freshman Anthony Wang of Middlesex County Academy; .5 because Amanda is studying abroad in the fall) at NU who have attended a real tournament before and are likely to do so again.
I'm not an empty chair, and Adam is a top player, but Northwestern '17-'18 has a ceiling of "slightly better than NU or GT in '15-'16," tops.
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Re: Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby Cheynem » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:06 pm

cornfused wrote:
merv1618 wrote:Northwestern still has Adam and Greg, if their grad programs don't prevent them from playing, as well as a small but extant supporting cast.
I'm not an empty chair.


True, Greg is a decent player.
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Re: Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby kitakule » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:26 pm

AGoodMan wrote:Here are some D2 teams to watch out for, based on what/who I know. Teams are in no particular order.

Incoming freshmen:
1. Michigan State (Jakob Myers) - MSU gains Jakob Myers, arguably the best high school player from this past season.

2. Stanford (Ali Saeed, Ashwin Ramaswami, Young Lee) - Stevenson generalist Ali and FA/philo specialist Young Lee, along with Chattahoochee's best player Ashwin will play together. I'm assuming they will join players like Eric Kilgore.

3. Berkeley (Pranav Sivakumar, Rahul Keyal, James Malouf) - Two very good California players and former MSNCT star and FA player Pranav team up in Berkeley. Not to mention the returning Sunny Chen and Solon duo Rohin and John.

4. UChicago (Andy Huff, Matthew Lehmann, Luke Tierney) - Chicago always seems to be good; they are to quiz bowl what Germany is to international soccer.

5. Michigan (Austin Morton, Robert Mansuetti) - Two of PACE-winning DCC players matriculate to Michigan, though I don't know if they are playing. If they do, they should be helpful for Conor Thompson.

Returning sophomores:
1. Illinois (Cole Timmerwilke, Mike Etzkorn) - Give him a couple years, and Mike will become one of the best literature/FA players in the game. You heard it (publicly declared) here first.

2. Delaware (Eric Wolfsberg, Rohan Narayan) - Eric was the best high school player in 2015-16 and is still dominating. Rohan is also very good given his stats, though I do not know him very well.

Honorable mentions:
Harvard, Minnesota, Maryland

EDITED to fix stupid mistakes. Lehmann is actually going to UChicago
*I may have forgotten some people or simply just do not know others. I apologize in advance and this is all just speculation with no malicious intent.


To add to Chicago's already stacked D2 lineup, Lucia Geng seems to be headed there and I know my former teammate Sam Hebert is going there as well and definitely plans to play.
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Re: Top five college teams for 2017–18

Postby The Polebarn Hotel » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:50 am

Speaking of good D2 teams, Daniel Xu and Luc Wetherbee of Ithaca will be headed to Cornell next year, as will Allan Lee of Great Neck South, Jonathan Tran of Westview (OR), and Shivank Nayak of Westview (CA). Assuming some combination of four of them play, they should have really good coverage and are definitely a force to be reckoned with.
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