Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by dtaylor4 »

Sit Room Guy wrote:Does it count as an upset if it's on substandard questions? If so, Dunlap v. Stevenson at IHSA State this year.
Doesn't count if the packet itself won.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by Fado Alexandrino »

Sigurd wrote:On a smaller note, McGill upsetting Columbia to make the top bracket also deserves a mention.
I'm glad to be a member of the worst top bracket team ever. We've always had a good matchup against Columbia for some reason. Also having the original 3rd seed missing their best player helped.
touchpack wrote:There's a 6th possibility here: Your team is better than the stats (PPB) indicate, so what is viewed as an upset is not necessarily an upset.

So, the standard stat used to compare teams, especially from different reasons is PPB, because 1) the correlation between PPB and quizbowl performance is pretty good and 2) there just isn't a better stat out there. However, games are not won by converting bonuses, games are won by getting tossups.
This seems to be a trend with us too, looking back at last year's ICT and 2015 CO. Derek's really good. The rest of us aren't, leaving way too many bonuses unanswered even though he can get the majority of the tossups in a game.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by CPiGuy »

CPiGuy wrote:
Ike wrote:I'll PM you with specifics. I would post the specific instances of this story here, but the set is not clear -- so I'll definitely do that once Terrapin is clear.

Ike
I *think* Terrapin is clear now?
Terrapin is definitely clear now, and the set posted. (I was reminded of this by Will Alston's mention of said tournament in the player poll thread).
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by bretthogan43 »

Back on the 4th of March of this year, a bunch of hicks from Fairview kept pace with Alabama "Small School" state champs East Lawrence and eventually beat them on the last tossup. Might not mean much to anyone else but I think it qualifies as an "upset" and deserves a mention.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by rylltraka »

gyre and gimble wrote: Chicago Open 2012, Dharma and Greg Bums over In Soviet Russia, Tournament Edits You. A team of myself, Mik Larsen, Alex Gerten, and Tirth Patel, which went 7-9 over the course of the tournament, beat Jonathan Magin, Bruce Arthur, Will Butler, and Jerry Vinokurov, who went 13-3 and, had they won, would have been in a final against a team they had already beaten.
In terms of the varieties of upset that have been discussed in this thread, this game definitely had the "advantage-killing neg" and "niche topic comes up for underdog" motifs in play. ISRTEY suffered four negs to our none, none of their players had a breakout scoring rush (Magin had 40), and we hung around off vulched tossups despite poor bonus conversion (they answered 8 w/15 PPB, us 9 w/11). Stephen had been doing most of the buzzing for us, and I, having an up-and-down tournament, had been doing my best impression of a rock.

We're down 15 going into the final tossup, I believe, and it happens to be on the Watts Towers, a tourist attraction in south LA that I had visited the previous year, and where I'd watched the informative video in the visitor center (and thus knew every single clue in power). It was probably the one TU in the tournament that I could have answered before anyone else in the field.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by AGoodMan »

Obviously not as big or important as many most other matches mentioned here, but at the 2016 ATROPHY at Northern Illinois University (run on BHSAT), my high school team, Wheaton Warrenville South, beat the Rockford Auburn A team 390-315. That Auburn team featured 3 All-State players (Cole Timmerwilke, Ethan Strombeck, and Henry Roe), and Cole was also All-World and #3 scorer at HSNCT (in ppg and powers). We didn't even hit 20ppb on the set (Auburn hit 23+), and Auburn also had almost double the number of powers that we did (29 vs. 56). We just hit a good packet that round and played conservatively.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

Columbia smacking down Michigan (with an assist by 6 Michigan negs) is worth mentioning here. Indeed, Columbia's 4th place performance at Nationals is highly commendable, made possible as it was by key victories over Chicago and Michigan. I am glad that this was evidently incorporated by this year's voters into the team poll.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by The Ununtiable Twine »

It goes without saying that we have to give a shout out to high school freshman (and one of my former TQBA campers) Eshaan Vakil of Clark HS for defeating two-time defending HSNCT champion Hunter at NSC this weekend. Judging by the morning stats, Hunter put up outstanding numbers in the prelims, as no other match was decided by fewer than 300 points in their favor. Eshaan went a very respectable 3-4 in a reasonably difficult pool. However none of that matters as history was made!
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by ryanrosenberg »

The Ununtiable Twine wrote:It goes without saying that we have to give a shout out to high school freshman (and one of my former TQBA campers) Eshaan Vakil of Clark HS for defeating two-time defending HSNCT champion Hunter at NSC this weekend. Judging by the morning stats, Hunter put up outstanding numbers in the prelims, as no other match was decided by fewer than 300 points in their favor. Eshaan went a very respectable 3-4 in a reasonably difficult pool. However none of that matters as history was made!
A freshman from Nevada playing solo beat a national champion. Let that sink in.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by zxc »

https://www.naqt.com/stats/tournament/g ... _id=933587

Who Would Win?

An incredible team with camaraderie, balance, and synergy who would go on to place 2nd at HSNCT and 3rd at PACE NSC and beat many other top ranked teams

OR

some 🅱️ama 🅱️ois
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by Dominator »

Zerowaltz wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:20 am some 🅱️ama 🅱️ois
(1) Congratulations on your victory.
(2) 20 tossups heard?! And 2 of those didn't even need a bonus?!?! I'd have been so tilted!
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

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Zerowaltz wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:20 am https://www.naqt.com/stats/tournament/g ... _id=933587

Who Would Win?

An incredible team with camaraderie, balance, and synergy who would go on to place 2nd at HSNCT and 3rd at PACE NSC and beat many other top ranked teams

OR

some 🅱️ama 🅱️ois
I'm not real sure that HSNCT's 35th best team in PP20TUH beating the 7th is a historic upset.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by btressler »

My favorite head-scratching result is Nittany Bowl 1994. The Princeton team that won the tournament took its only two losses to low-ranked opponents in the prelims. (Yes, I was on the Dickinson team that caused one of those defeats, and I can't believe the results are still on the Internet.)

This Delaware team was not originally offered a berth for ICT Division II, got off the waitlist, and ended up finishing 4th.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by Woody »

The 2008 Class B Michigan State Championship. It was run on KMO/Academic Hallmark Questions, which is a significant part of what led to this happening. Also relevant is that the matches were timed, and if the timer ran out, the game was over -- no finishing the cycle or any of that. 2008 was a weird time.

Detroit Country Day enters the tournament the heavy favorites. Double elimination tournament. DeWitt went undefeated until the championship, Detroit Country Day narrowly lost their first-round match to Corunna (likely because Corunna's league at the time was run on KMO/Academic Hallmark, so they were more familiar with the rhythm of the questions), then DCDS absolutely dominated the Elimination Bracket.

First game of the championship, Detroit Country Day defeats DeWitt 910 - 385. Absolutely brutal game, we never got any momentum and never stood a chance. We went out into the hallway after the game and got a good pep talk, then went back in to see what we could do.

Second game, first half: our captain, Mattie Bogner, got off to a huge start. DCDS made a few negs, and starting fighting with each other. They were definitely off their rhythm, and we seized upon the opportunity to have a pretty firm lead at halftime.

Second game, second half: DCDS regrouped at halftime and came roaring out of the gate. Our lead eroded little by little, until they took a 10 point lead with 43 seconds left on the clock. Next question starts, I heard "This wealthy Italian merchant family", reflex buzz and shout (literally shout, I had a LOOOT of adrenaline going) "de Medici!" which gets us 10 points, then we draw out the 10 point bonus as best we can. There's maybe 12, 15 seconds left on the clock, we're up by 10 points. The next question is a "finish this line of poetry" question, before it even gets to the point where it's really possible to know what line they're actually going to look for, with about 5 seconds left on the clock, Mattie Bogner buzzes in and says "I... I don't have an answer", taking the neg and stalling out the clock for a 5 point victory, 735-730.

My absolute favorite quiz bowl memory, as we had a long-standing rivalry with DCDS. We occasionally beat them on NAQT questions, but they were overall the better team for the majority of my high school career. But when it really counted, we managed to beat them and take the 2008 State Championship.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by nsb2 »

It was on a terrible set, but surely Dunlap's win over Stevenson at IHSA State in 2017 has to be up there
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by echoes in the Othersea »

Not sure how much of an upset this was but my team ECHHS getting third in 2022 HSNCT despite being rated 45th in Groger Ranks going in, by defeating Lambert, Kinkaid, Strake Jesuit, Detroit Country Day, Great Valley, Ridgewood, and Saratoga, as well as going 1-1 against DCC and Solon, all of whom was rated higher than ECHHS on post-competition GrogerRanks. That said, we were underrated, as we had never put our full a-team together in a tournament that whole year.

Lambert was the biggest upset, and it definitely had both the element of both the other team negging a lot and also lucky content. Mostly I think it was a lot of luck, and of course BMB being an incredible player.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by etotheipi »

echoes in the Othersea wrote: Thu Mar 02, 2023 9:41 pm Lambert was the biggest upset, and it definitely had both the element of both the other team negging a lot and also lucky content. Mostly I think it was a lot of luck, and of course BMB being an incredible player.
I didn't consider this an upset in the moment, though it might have been - that ECHHS team was definitely deeply underrated, and BMB is a great enough player that one can never take a game against him for granted.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by echoes in the Othersea »

etotheipi wrote: Mon Mar 06, 2023 10:16 pm
echoes in the Othersea wrote: Thu Mar 02, 2023 9:41 pm Lambert was the biggest upset, and it definitely had both the element of both the other team negging a lot and also lucky content. Mostly I think it was a lot of luck, and of course BMB being an incredible player.
I didn't consider this an upset in the moment, though it might have been - that ECHHS team was definitely deeply underrated, and BMB is a great enough player that one can never take a game against him for granted.
What I remember is that when we heard we were playing Lambert next we assumed we were pretty much certain to lose. I do agree about the underrated angle (Luke and Krishna are now getting a chance to show their full strength without BMB shadowing them), and I do think that individual games are too random for them to be great examples of upsets (though they can definitely feel like big upsets when they happen), which is why I focused on the whole tournament, which has the disadvantage of having less clear reasons.

And the upset very much comes from expected performance. Assuming pre-nats ranks have some capability to predict nationals performance, the biggest gap between pre-nationals ranking and actual nationals results would be the "biggest upset", but pre competition ranks, at least for High School, are more about norming for tournaments that have already taken place, resulting in good teams not being ranked correctly on paper but their "known" performance being closer to how they actually do, such as 2022 ECHHS. There's also the opposite issue, of good teams showing up to a quiz bowl tournament without all their top players, and how you go about measuring upsets in that situation.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by CPiGuy »

I'm not sure any individual games at this year's ICT are particularly extraordinary upsets (both of the teams that beat Chicago were obviously extremely good, and I think Cornell was probably favored in 12 of their 13 games), but Chicago having 3 PPB and 100 PPG more than any other team and losing twice, as well as Cornell being the first team in a decade to go undefeated at a college nationals, are both in aggregate among the most surprising tournament results I can remember.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

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CPiGuy wrote: Tue Apr 04, 2023 8:43 pm I'm not sure any individual games at this year's ICT are particularly extraordinary upsets (both of the teams that beat Chicago were obviously extremely good, and I think Cornell was probably favored in 12 of their 13 games), but Chicago having 3 PPB and 100 PPG more than any other team and losing twice, as well as Cornell being the first team in a decade to go undefeated at a college nationals, are both in aggregate among the most surprising tournament results I can remember.
Sitting in the back of the room next to MattBo during the Virginia-Chicago game has got to be the best game of quizbowl I have ever watched. I'm so proud of the UVA squad for coming together how they did, especially since that specific line-up had never played a tournament together before.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by echoes in the Othersea »

CPiGuy wrote: Tue Apr 04, 2023 8:43 pm I'm not sure any individual games at this year's ICT are particularly extraordinary upsets (both of the teams that beat Chicago were obviously extremely good, and I think Cornell was probably favored in 12 of their 13 games), but Chicago having 3 PPB and 100 PPG more than any other team and losing twice, as well as Cornell being the first team in a decade to go undefeated at a college nationals, are both in aggregate among the most surprising tournament results I can remember.
Cornell's performance was incredible, especially in regards to them going undefeated, but I think there's an argument that what Waterloo did was even more of an upset: Cornell was listed #6 in D-values going in, and had been mentioned to me as a super strong team with win potential. Waterloo came into DII ICT rated #16 in D-Values, third finisher at the SCT they'd qualified from. Sure they didn't beat Matt Jackson but they did beat Clarmont Colleges, as well as a number of High School superstars.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

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echoes in the Othersea wrote: Wed Apr 05, 2023 7:00 pm
CPiGuy wrote: Tue Apr 04, 2023 8:43 pm I'm not sure any individual games at this year's ICT are particularly extraordinary upsets (both of the teams that beat Chicago were obviously extremely good, and I think Cornell was probably favored in 12 of their 13 games), but Chicago having 3 PPB and 100 PPG more than any other team and losing twice, as well as Cornell being the first team in a decade to go undefeated at a college nationals, are both in aggregate among the most surprising tournament results I can remember.
Cornell's performance was incredible, especially in regards to them going undefeated, but I think there's an argument that what Waterloo did was even more of an upset: Cornell was listed #6 in D-values going in, and had been mentioned to me as a super strong team with win potential. Waterloo came into DII ICT rated #16 in D-Values, third finisher at the SCT they'd qualified from. Sure they didn't beat Matt Jackson but they did beat Clarmont Colleges, as well as a number of High School superstars.
Waterloo was also missing one of their players at SCT. Presumably had they played full they'd have been higher, especially given how balanced of a team they were.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by echoes in the Othersea »

CPiGuy wrote: Thu Apr 06, 2023 6:16 am
echoes in the Othersea wrote: Wed Apr 05, 2023 7:00 pm
CPiGuy wrote: Tue Apr 04, 2023 8:43 pm I'm not sure any individual games at this year's ICT are particularly extraordinary upsets (both of the teams that beat Chicago were obviously extremely good, and I think Cornell was probably favored in 12 of their 13 games), but Chicago having 3 PPB and 100 PPG more than any other team and losing twice, as well as Cornell being the first team in a decade to go undefeated at a college nationals, are both in aggregate among the most surprising tournament results I can remember.
Cornell's performance was incredible, especially in regards to them going undefeated, but I think there's an argument that what Waterloo did was even more of an upset: Cornell was listed #6 in D-values going in, and had been mentioned to me as a super strong team with win potential. Waterloo came into DII ICT rated #16 in D-Values, third finisher at the SCT they'd qualified from. Sure they didn't beat Matt Jackson but they did beat Clarmont Colleges, as well as a number of High School superstars.
Waterloo was also missing one of their players at SCT. Presumably had they played full they'd have been higher, especially given how balanced of a team they were.
You are almost certainly right, though unfortunately without catstats we can't really have the hard evidence of "they lost all questions on this one category at SCT but made up for it at ICT".

What I didn't mention initially but makes it even more of an upset is apparently half of Waterloo's players had never played organized quiz bowl before SCT. Assuming that's true, it goes from a big upset to a truly incredible one.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

Naveed beat myself and Jason Zhou at a history side event in 2017. This would typically just be a normal upset, as Naveed is a strong history player, but it was a tournament with disproportionate amounts of ancient history, so it was a quite a solid one.

The reason this fits in "greatest," though, is due to my wise decision to buzz on sixteen of the tossups, but only answer eight correctly. Naveed was apparently cackling after the game - and deservedly so!
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by L.H.O.O.Q. »

Potentially lower stakes, but Madison Consolidated placed 5th/6th at this year's Indiana State Championship after entering as the 18th seed out of 18. They defeated 3 teams seeded higher than them in the prelims (including Fishers and North Central teams that looked like championship contenders at the qualifier tournaments), snuck into the championship bracket, and then finished their tournament by pouncing on an unsuspecting Culver team that went on to finish 4th. This was the first year that the state championship admitted 18 teams instead of 16, so they wouldn't have even been invited in any previous years.
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by alextabor95 »

Wise Central beating Maggie Walker for the 2016 VHSL 2A State Championship was a huge deal

https://www.qbwiki.com/wiki/Central_vs. ... 2016_VHSL)
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by negawardorbust »

While not exactly quiz bowl, the 1966 GE College bowl championships are about as big of an upset as it gets.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWtcG_1jhJw&t=0s
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Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Post by tfm »

negawardorbust wrote: Wed May 01, 2024 2:50 pm While not exactly quiz bowl, the 1966 GE College bowl championships are about as big of an upset as it gets.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWtcG_1jhJw&t=0s
A famous match, indeed! Princeton is Captained by Steve Chernicoff, who became a five-time Jeopardy! Champion in 1994, made it to the Semifinals in that years Tournament of Champions, and made it to the third round in 2005’s Ultimate Tournament of Champions.
The Agnes Scott Captain is blind, which (spoiler alert) makes the ending even more amazing. A documentary on this match is in production.
Neither GE College Bowl or its radio predecessor, College Quiz Bowl, had championships (with one exception in 1961). On GE College Bowl, teams retired after five wins. On College Quiz Bowl, teams played until they lost, and the 1954-55 Minnesota team racked up 12 consecutive wins plus one tie and one no contest.
This is actually the second time Princeton was upset. The first occurred on College Quiz Bowl’s first season, 1953-1954, when a Princeton team led by future PBS financial guru Louis Rukeyser was upset by a team from Washington and Lee. This upset was probably more important, as the publicity brought the show a renewal and a season two sponsor. Without that season 2 pickup, quiz bowl might not exist today; or if it did, it wouldn’t exist in a toss-up/bonus format.
(Minor edit: though Rukeyser clearly led the 1953-1954 Princeton team, it was inaccurate for me to say he “captained” it; that position did not formally exist until the 1960-61 GE College Bowl season. My apologies for the poor choice of words.)
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