BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A team of four University at Buffalo trivia
players will head to Chicago March 30 to take on other college
teams in a national, invitation-only quiz bowl.
Hands clenching buzzers, they'll field questions on topics
including music, literature, mythology, philosophy, geography,
astronomy, quantum mechanics and more.
It's the first time that the UB academic quiz team has received
an invitation to a national tournament, said Zach Pace, a physics
and mathematics major who will be competing.
The accomplishment is impressive considering that the team is
fairly new to the intercollegiate trivia circuit: The members are
part of UB's Academic Bowl club, a student group that Pace founded
In Chicago, the team will be among 32 battling it out at the
National Academic Quiz Tournaments Division II nationals from March
UB was the 24th-ranked team in a field of 131 eligible Division
II teams this season, Pace said. (Division II teams have no players
who have made it to a national tournament before, he
Members of the media are invited to attend a team practice,
complete with buzzers and fast-paced questioning, from 5-7 p.m. on
Friday, March 23, in 111 Talbert Hall on UB's North Campus. Talbert
Hall is building No. 24 in the yellow section of this map: http://www.buffalo.edu/buildings/maps/NorthCampus.pdf.
UB Academic Bowl has about 15 active members, but only four will
represent the university in Chicago.
The UB students who will join Pace in the nationals are Matt
Hill, a sophomore chemical engineering and mathematics major with a
minor in music performance; Pratyush Joshi, a sophomore electrical
engineering major; and John O'Brien, a freshman English major who
had previous high school trivia experience.
Each team member has different areas of trivia expertise. Pace
specializes in physics, non-classical mythology and European
history. Hill is strong in chemistry, classical mythology and
music. O'Brien is the resident literature and social science
expert. And Joshi takes on questions in art and miscellaneous
Pace said Academic Bowl is refreshing and fun -- a chance to
meet students from across the university, with a wide variety of
"It's a part of the college experience that I think is neglected
sometimes nowadays -- people are very connected to their majors,"
Pace said. "Academic Bowl adds a multidimensionality to the college