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February 5, 2016

Final Jeopardy! wagering analysis:
Friday, February 5, 2016 (College QF #5)

2016 College Championship
schools represented wild-card wagering
QF1 QF2 QF3 QF4 QF5 SF1 SF2 SF3 F1 F2

We’ve got quite a cluster on our wild-card leaderboard – but tonight, everything will be resolved.

Two of our players can stand pat and move on, although neither of them know this; the third needs to work some magic.

Ziad

Ali

Noah

Cowan

Niki

Peters

10,800 15,000 21,400
NC State Brown UC Berkeley

Tonight’s Final Jeopardy! category is:

U.S. PRESIDENTS

Here’s what my calculator says each player should do for a wild card:

Confidence
Player Score 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%
Ziad 10,800 0 8,500 8,500 8,500 9,500 9,500 9,500
Noah 15,000 0 0 0 0 0 2,700 3,400
Niki 21,400 7,200 7,200 7,200 7,200 7,200 7,200 7,200

The big numbers for Ziad surprise me a bit, but that’s math for you.

What actually happened

Ziad Noah Niki
10,800 15,000 21,400
10,800 2,000 3,000
21,600 13,000 24,400

Huge bummer for Noah; I liked his aggressive Daily Double wager, but things just didn’t work out for him in the end. Them’s the breaks in a tournament.

OK, here are the final standings. My predictions for semifinal match-ups are below.

Quarterfinal winners:

  1. Emily Sun (Columbia)
  2. Emily Bingham (Wright State)
  3. Sam Deutsch (USC)
  4. Gus Woythaler (Stanford)
  5. Niki Peters (UC Berkeley)

Wild-card race:

  1. Ziad Ali (NC State) – 21,600
  2. Sarah Dubnik (Pitt) – 14,801
  3. Hannah Norem (Augustana) – 14,400*
  4. Kate Laubscher (Northeastern) – 14,400*
  5. Michael Sieja (Mississippi State) – 14,400*
  6. Kevin Brown (LSU) – 14,000
  7. Amanda Rosner (Northwestern) – 13,200
  8. Noah Cowan (Brown) – 13,000
  9. Adam Antoszewski (UVA) – 0
  10. Carissa Pekny (West Point) – 0

*The Jeopardy! website has an impressive graphic about the tiebreaker for the last two spots:

Here’s how the semifinalists were sorted by quarterfinal. (Remember that players can’t meet again in the next round.)

Adam

Antoszewski

Carissa

Pekny

Emily

Sun

Emily

Bingham

Kevin

Brown

Kate

Laubscher

Sam

Deutsch

Amanda

Rosner

Michael

Sieja

Sarah

Dubnik

Hannah

Norem

Gus

Woythaler

Ziad

Ali

Noah

Cowan

Niki

Peters

My match-up predictions

I realize they might already be up on the Jeopardy! minisite, but here’s a stab anyway:

  • Top three seeds: Niki, Gus, Emily B. (also, I doubt they’ll put Berkeley and Stanford in the same semifinal)
  • Separate the three men into three different semifinals
  • Don’t put Emily B. with the other player from a small college (Hannah) or the other Emily (S.)

The possibility I’ll go with is:

  • Niki – Hannah – Sam
  • Gus – Emily S. – Kate
  • Emily B. – Ziad – Sarah

And two of my assumptions were wrong (see the end of this video):

Mon
2/8

Niki

Gus

Emily S.

UC Berkeley Stanford Columbia
Tue
2/9

Emily B.

Sam

Hannah

Wright State USC Augustana (SD)
Wed
2/10

Ziad

Sarah

Kate

NC State Pitt Northeastern

The Final Jeopardy! clue

U.S. PRESIDENTS
HE WAS THE ONLY 20th CENTURY PRESIDENT WHO NEVER DELIVERED AN INAUGURAL ADDRESS

Correct response: Show

The Final Wager – February 5, 2016
2016 College Championship
schools represented wild-card wagering
QF1 QF2 QF3 QF4 QF5 SF1 SF2 SF3 F1 F2

5 Comments
  1. Wait, what? Why would they have a semi-final with all wild cards, guaranteeing one into the final? Meanwhile, the strongest player (IMO) Niki has to beat two other quarter-final winners to make the final? Gack…

  2. I have to throw the challenge flag on the third assumption; in fact, I wonder if there’s some East Coast/New England bias there. Specifically, how is Wright State a “small” school, but not Northeastern?

    They have roughly comparable undergraduate enrollments (in the 13,000s). They’re both in mid-major conferences – in fact, both the CAA and Horizon League have had multiple teams in the Final Four in the last decade. I posted a couple of times this week that I think Hannah is the only truly small-school player in the field. Part of that is subjective (Augustana is the only school I hadn’t heard of) and part objective (it’s the only non-Division I school represented).

    As for the first assumption – I couldn’t agree more. I was hoping that Niki, Gus, and Sam would be kept apart to put an all-Pac-12 final in play. But once I saw the male/female mix, I figured they’d separate the three guys, and Niki couldn’t face Ziad again. Niki and Gus matched up in a semifinal is bad form – not just due to the Cal/Stanford angle, but the two best players of the remaining nine, both on score and the “eye test.”

    I know it’s happened before (i.e. Joon Pahk, 2011 ToC), and the writers have plenary power to set the matchups, but either or both of Niki or Gus likely got shortchanged of at least $15,000 with these matchups. Hope Monday’s game is a three-way well fought battle!

  3. dhkendall permalink

    Perhaps I missed it in a previous video but I don’t think you’ve shown your trophy you won. Maybe during the video of next week’s final game on Friday?

What do you think?