2011 NAC

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2011 National Academic Championship
Edited by Questions Unlimited
Champion Harrison
Runner-up Ardsley
Third Copley
Fourth White Plains
High scorer Ryan Rosenberg of Ardsley (MVP, DC)
Jackson Kulas of Copley (MVP, Chicago)

Alex Pijanowski of Harrison (MVP, New Orleans)
Ella Shipp of Daviess County (MVP, JV)

Site Chicago; New Orleans; Washington DC
Stats http://qunlimited.com/rank11.htm

New Orleans Champion Harrison won against DC Champion Ardsley in the finals, 340-250, New Orleans Champion Harrison defeated one Chicago Champion, Copley, 310-265 in one semi-final, while the other Chicago Champion, White Plains, was defeated by DC Champion Ardsley in the other, 305-260, notably a match against two Westchester, NY teams. 27 teams from New York, mostly the Westchester Area, made it to the playoffs. The JV champion was Daviess County. In the New Orleans phase of the middle school division, St. Pius X (OK) defeated Jesuit (LA), 340-305.

136 teams attended the NAC this year, much less than the HSNCT, which reached its cap of 224 teams.


Teams played 6 preliminary rounds, with all 4-2 and better teams qualifying for the playoffs. In Chicago, as there were 24 playoff teams, the top 8 had first round byes. Otherwise, all playoff games were single elimination.
Showing just how insignificant prelim seedings are in predicting a winner, Hamilton Southeastern, Chicago's 17th playoff seed, defeated the number 1, 8 and 16th seeds in the playoffs.

There not any extraordinary controversies in this tournament, though notably one match from the Preliminary rounds of a Chicago match between Irvington A and Plano Senior A had an amazingly complex protest which may hold a record for longest protest resolution, causing the result of a 9:00am game to not be resolved until 5:00pm, a protest which involved much researched evidence from both sides, including the testimony of a Stanford Math Professor. The question was "What is the graph of theta = pi/6?" And the protest was between the given answer of "ray" and the written answer of "line." Irvington's protest in defense of ray was deemed correct after an already long wait, but then Plano fired a counter protest and somehow managed to get the tossup thrown out, leading to a single question computational math sudden death between the two teams. Neither team answered correctly, resulting in Irvington's victory as the points from the question were thrown out.


  • Gary Sinise, who has never been accused of murder, played this character in 1992, co-starring with John Malkovich. Robert Blake, who has been accused of murder, played the role as well. Name this character who murders his friend in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.
       Ans. George Milton
  • This novel features Alcee Arobin and Robert Lebrun both pining for the attention of Leonce Pontellier’s wife Edna. Le Reveil is the title of the French translation. Name this Kate Chopin masterpiece.
       Ans. The Awakening
  • Dayton Miller retried this experiment at the Mount Wilson observatory, but a more notable retesting used a parallel-plate capacitor and was led by Trouton and Noble. Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction was devised to explain its results. One of the scientists after whom the experiment is named won the 1907 Nobel in physics for inventing an interferometer. Returning a null result is what experiment that provided the first evidence against luminiferous ether?
       Ans. Michelson-Morley Experiment
  • “Lincoln Steffens wrote a series of articles for McClure’s magazine about the corruption of machine politics in this muckraking classic. He could have called it The Disgrace of the Large Metropolitan Areas, but what title did he give it instead?”
       Ans. The Shame of the Cities
  • Visual question: She ran a Paris hat shop to earn money for the family. Her name was Amelie, and she posed for this portrait, "Woman with the Hat." Name her husband and you’ve named the artist.
       Ans. Henri Matisse
  • Following the drafting of the Constitution in 1789, a Mrs. Powel asked Benjamin Franklin: “ . . . what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” What was his seven-word reply?
       Ans. “A republic, if you can keep it.”
  • Charles Darwin was the great-uncle of which composer? Listen. (Audio Clip)
       Ans. Ralph Vaughan-Williams
  • Consider the subtitles of these best-known examples of so-called “children’s music” – Camille Saint-Saens’ Grand Zoological Fantasy, Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphonic Fairy Tale, Benjamin Britten’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell. Identify the titles of these compositions.
       Ans. Carnival of the Animals, Peter and the Wolf, The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, respectively
  • There was a question about White Plains, the town of one of the schools in the competition, though apparently they were not playing in that round
  • Chip remarked himself that there "seemed to be a lot of questions about Mormons" at this iteration of the NAC
  • A listening question asking teams to identify the war about which a song was written, that song was "The Battle of New Orleans"
2011 National Academic Championship
2010 NAC
2012 NAC