This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Buzzers ready!

UB trivia players to compete in national tournament

  • A team of UB trivia players, including Zach Pace, a physics and mathematics major, will head to Chicago March 30 to participate in the National Academic Quiz Tournament. Photo: DOUGLAS LEVERE

Published: March 26, 2012

A team of four UB trivia players will head to Chicago this weekend to take on other college teams in a national, invitation-only quiz bowl.

Hands clenching buzzers, they’ll field questions on such topics as music, literature, mythology, philosophy, geography, astronomy, quantum mechanics and more.

It’s the first time that a UB academic quiz team has received an invitation to a national tournament, says 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 2010.

In Chicago, the team will be among 32 battling it out at the National Academic Quiz Tournaments Division II nationals, being held March 30-31.

UB was the 24th-ranked team in a field of 131 eligible Division II teams this season, Pace says, explaining that Division II teams have no players who have made it to a national tournament before.

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. All are Honors College Scholars.

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 subjects.

Pace says Academic Bowl is refreshing and fun—a chance to meet students from across the university with a wide variety of interests.

“It’s a part of the college experience that I think is neglected sometimes nowadays—people are very connected to their majors,” he says. “Academic Bowl adds a multidimensionality to the college experience.”

Pace says the club is always looking for new members, including those with no trivia experience. For more information, visit the UB Academic Bowl website.