Friday, 15 October 2010

University Challenge - Round One Round Up

In the following list, the teams’ points scored are given, immediately followed by the total aggregate of points scored in their match.

Magdalen, Oxford 340 / 460
Edinburgh 335/370
Sheffield 315/385
Christ’s Cambridge 290/350
Peterouse , Cambridge 265/430
York 245/350
Oxford Brookes 220/430
UAL 215/310
Bristol 190 /375
Queen’s Cambridge 190/375
Merton, Oxford 180/355
Downing, Cambridge 160/255
UCL 155/280
Newnham, Cambridge 135/250

Repechage Round

Cardiff 210/430
St. Andrews 185/375
St. John’s, Cambridge 175/355
Exeter 165/430

So what conclusions can we draw from these results ? Well, in my opinion the first round this year was distinguished by some excellent tight matches, the very finest of them being Oxford Brookes’ tiebreak win over Cardiff. On the other hand we did see some emphatic victories too, the most notable of these being Edinburgh’s, where they won 335 points out of the 370 scored in the whole match. Its also been pointed out by readers of this very blog that Cambridge have been generally a lot more successful than Oxford this year, although it would take a very brave person to bet against Magdalen having something to do with the outcome of the series this year. Cambridge have an impressive 5 representative teams through by right, and another competing in the repechage round.

As a point of comparison between this year and last year, the highest aggregate total in any first round match of 2009 was only 405. No fewer than 5 matches this year have exceeded that total. The highest first round score of 2009 was St. John’s 270. St. John’s went all the way to the final too. This year , 270 would have only been the 5th highest score of any team.

You’d have to say at this stage that the three triple centurion teams, Magdalen, Edinburgh and Sheffield, together with Christ’s who missed it by a whisker, look pretty good bets for places in the quarters. This is all presuming that none of them get drawn against each other, mind you, which is always a possibility. Each of these teams may also find it more difficult playing against anther team who have also passed through a baptism of fire in the first round.

Lets not forget too that last year’s winners, Emmanuel, came through from the repechage round, a timely reminder to us that while you’re still in the competition you should never be discounted. Knowledge and a fast buzzer hand are essentials for success, and the top 4 teams certainly possess these qualities in abundance. However it remains to be seen whether they can handle the pressure, and as each round progresses this becomes increasingly important.


HughTube said...

After Magdalen the team that most impressed me was Peterhouse, but no-one seems to be mentioning them. They got 265 against a what I think was pretty strong team in Exeter who were also very quick on the buzzer.

Londinius said...

Hi Hugh

You make a very good point. Peterhouse are just below the top four I picked out, and they'll be a handful for anyone to play against. Ditto both Cardiff and Oxford Brookes - who scored over 200 when their opposiion also manged to do the same.

Jack said...

I was impressed by Peterhouse too; they could be ones to watch as well as the four big winners (Magdalen, Edinburgh, Sheffield and Christ's). York could do well as well with a favourable draw.

As for the repechage, Cardiff play Exeter on Monday, then St Andrews plan St John's the week after. Should be a good set of matches. On paper, Cardiff would have the upper hand over Exeter, while the second match would be too close to call.

But then, stats mean nothing; it's what happens in the present match that matters. As Iain Weaver (of Weaver's Week fame) once said "that was Round One, this is the repechage".