Friday, 1 April 2011

University Challenge - Grand Final Preview

Right then, lets get down to business. That there has been nothing clear cut or predictable about this year’s series is shown by the fact that both teams contesting Monday night’s final lost their first quarter final matches. Lets get the statistics out of the way first, then, shall we ? Both teams have played 6 matches so far in this year’s series.

The average match scores for both teams are : -
York – 214.2
Magdalen – 265

The average match score for their opponents is a lot closer : -
York – 155.8
Magdalen – 153.3

The average winning margin of both teams are these : -
York – 58.3
Magdalen – 111.6

So going on the stats alone, it’s a win for Magdalen, then. Not only that, but lets not forget that Magdalen only lost by 5 points to Sheffield, while York were beaten by 85 points by Peterhouse.

However, its not quite as simple as that. Magdalen have been impressive throughout the competition, but they have never again looked quite as impressive as they were in their first match, when they looked like series champions in waiting. As for York, they looked unimpressive right up to and including the defeat by Peterhouse. Then a transformation seemed to happen, and they have looked a different team since. They beat Sheffield in the semis, who were favourite for the final among many people , this writer being one of them.

What it may come down to is the fact that although captain Andrew Clemo has received useful support from his team mates, it is his performances that have really driven York on to the final. As for Magdalen, Will Cudmore has been a huge star on the buzzer, but Kyle Haddad-Fonda and James McComish have also been big hitters in the buzzer battle during the series. If Andrew Clemo has a bad day at the office in the final, you feel that York will struggle for starters. Yet if, for example, Will Cudmore struggles, Magdalen still have plenty of firepower.

Put a gun to my head, and insist on a prediction, then I’ll say that I think that Magdalen are the more likely winners. But York are a team with momentum at the moment, and if Andrew Clemo has one more great performance on the buzzer, then they can win . I wish both teams the best of luck, and thank you both for the entertainment you’ve provided us with this year.


doublemm said...

Looking forward to it very much. Fingers crossed for a close final!

Des Elmes said...

Can't disagree that the result could very well hinge on how well Clemo does.

Mind you, even if he does lead his team to victory, surely it can't be very likely that he'll get something like 13 starters in the process, just like a certain Mr Guttenplan...? ;)

A York win would be quite remarkable, though, not just because they didn't look like champions up to and including that defeat by Peterhouse - but it should also be taken into account that they are the only 1960s university taking part in this series.

In contrast, a Magdalen win wouldn't at all be unexpected. But not only that, the college would also find itself in very familiar territory - of the previous 16 Paxman series, it has won three (1996/7, 1997/8 and 2003/4). It also has a 100% record in finals...

So, will Magdalen make it four, or will York and Clemo pull off something astonishing?

Here's hoping it's a close and fantastic match...

Jack said...

I can only agree with what the others have said. Hopefully, we will have a much closer final than last year's. This has been a brilliant tournament, and a massive trouncing in the final would be a massive anti-climax. Again, like many games, it will just depend on the consistancy of all involved.

Again, like last year, I can't call it. We'll just have to wait and see.

Londinius said...

Thanks for all your comments, and can I take this opportunity of thanking particularly you Jack and Des for your always helpful comments on the reviews throughout the series. People like your good selves make LAM what it is - whatever that might be !