PACE NSC Commentary and Coverage

June 1, 2010

Looking Forward From HSNCT

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Berry @ 11:47 am

So, the 2010 NAQT HSNCT was this weekend at the O’Hare Hyatt Regency and Convention Center in scenic Rosemont, Illinois.  Maggie Walker Governor’s School defeated State College 380-355 in the first game of an advantaged final to win the tournament, beating State College three separate times over the course of the tournament. So with the HSNCT in the books, and NSC looming ahead of us, it is now time to look forward to this weekend’s PACE NSC and how we can apply the events of HSNCT to predict this weekend’s race to the championship.

After the conclusion of the HSNCT final, Graham Moyer of State College A was asked about what changes would help State College this weekend, and his immediate response was the “change in the distribution.”  The PACE and NAQT distributions, while fairly similar, place strong emphasis in different places. NSC will, according to Set Editor Andy Watkins, not feature the computational bonuses such as those found in NAQT, but will on the whole feature a smaller amount of pure math than HSNCT.

Teams that made a statement at HSNCT going into NSC:

-LASA assured the high school quizbowl world that they were for real, taking third place in a format that with their supposed deficiencies in geography, current events, and popular culture would leave them more vulnerable than in the PACE- format game.

-Reports of Detroit Central Catholic’s fall from the top may be slightly exaggerated. While DCC has performed better recently at NAQT than they do at PACE, placing at the much larger HSNCT may be a bit of momentum heading into NSC.

-Matt Jackson is human; is he all too human? Minor setbacks in the playoffs caused Matt Jackson and Georgetown Day School to slip to a tie for fifth place, but more importantly, driving home that he could lose to teams that are not Maggie Walker and State College.

-Thomas Jefferson had one of their lowest finishes in a while, but with a new group that had never played an HSNCT before and that all returns next year. There’s always next year for that team.

However, as impressive as Maggie Walker was this weekend (very), one has to remember: only 4 teams ever have won the NSC and HSNCT in the same year.  JR Roach and Greg Tito both got major boosts from the geography and JR was dominant on the Current Events, both of which appear notably less frequently in the NSC.  Tommy Casalaspi will have to get a boost similar to the drop-off that Greg and JR will experience if Maggie Walker expects to be the first school to win both nationals in the same year twice.

Fourth place finisher Bellarmine, though very impressive this weekend, unfortunately does not have the budget to attend the NSC. Adair County and Detroit Country Day as all ready mentioned will also not be attending PACE.


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