NCT

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The National Championship Tournament (NCT) was held annually by the College Bowl Company, Inc., to determine its format's national title during the company's affiliation with ACUI from 1977-1978 to 2007-2008. Occasional matches appeared on radio or TV during that time.

The College Bowl-ACUI program was discontinued after 2008. College Bowl continued to offer products to limited markets such as the HCASC and the 2021 College Bowl TV Show, but has not staged a competition for the general college level since the end of the ACUI partnership.

Tournament/field quality

For a full discussion of the mainstream quizbowl community's issues with the College Bowl program and the reasons for teams choosing not to participate, see the main page for College Bowl as a whole. This page is focused on the National Championship Tournament specifically.

By 1990, several major contenders in ACF and, ultimately, NAQT tournaments such as Maryland, Tennessee, and Georgia Tech no longer participated in College Bowl. By 2000 the only regular participants in College Bowl among the top tier of quizbowl teams were Chicago and Michigan, who themselves did not compete after the 2003-2004 season, and who never sent their best possible lineups to the tournament after 1998, due to a combination of the grad student restriction and individual players not wishing to play College Bowl. In the last eleven instances of the NCT, the only serious ICT or ACF title contenders who sent their best player lineups to College Bowl NCT were 2006 UCLA and Chicago's 1998 team, though other Chicago and Michigan lineups often won the NCT even without the top players from those clubs. The field quality below the top 4 was also very weak compared to other nationals due to the qualification system.

ACUI Regional System

During the time of the ACUI/College Bowl affiliation, ACUI was divided into 16 geographical regions. Regions 1-15 covered all areas of the United States and Canada. Region 16, for Australia, New Zealand, and "the Far East," never participated in College Bowl.

Generally, each region held a tournament and the champion qualified for NCT. Except in 2003 (when only the 15 regional champions were invited), 1986 (when an intermediate "sectional" stage was used), and 1980 and 1981 (when 9 wild cards were invited to create a 24-team, multi-stage national tournament) the NCT field selected a 16th team by picking one regional runner-up as a wild card. The process for choosing the wild card was purported to be a random draw, though some questioned whether teams were actually chosen for other reasons. Though almost all NCTs had a 16-team field, the specific tournament format varied often, as noted below.

From 2005 to 2007, the region 3 and 4 tournaments were combined in one, single-site event, with the highest-finishing teams from each region in the overall field each receiving NCT bids.

ACUI's region system continued to influence tournament placement and nationals qualification during ACUI's affiliation with NAQT from 2010-2013, though with significantly less rigidity than during the College Bowl era. Since the end of ACUI involvement in quizbowl in 2013, they have reorganized into an 8-region system.

College Bowl NCT top finishers/locations

Year Champion Second Place Third Place Fourth Place Host Tournament format[1] Stats
1978 Stanford Yale Cornell Oberlin Somewhere in Miami "16-team single elimination tournament with final 3 matches and World's Championship taped for tv"
1979 Davidson Harvard[2] Oberlin Cornell Somewhere in Miami "16-team single elimination tournament with final 3 matches and World's Championship taped for tv"
1980 Fresno State WUSTL MIT Washington State Marshall and WUSTL "24-team single-elimination tournament taped for radio in 2 phases"
1981 Maryland Davidson Marshall Michigan State Marshall "24-team single-elimination tournament taped for radio"
1982 North Carolina Rice WUSTL Vassar Somewhere in New York[3] "16-team single-elimination tournament taped for radio"
1983 no tournament
1984 Minnesota WUSTL Princeton Vassar Ohio State "16-team single-elimination tournament with final 3 games broadcast live as a one-hour NBC special"
1985 no tournament
1986 Wisconsin Princeton Georgia Tech Utah Georgia Tech "sectionals & 4-team double-elimination finals"
1987 Minnesota Georgia Tech NC State Western Connecticut State Disney World, Orlando "16-team single-elimination tournament taped for television"
1988 NC State Emory Princeton Kent State UIC "16-team double elimination tournament with best 2-of-3 finals"
1989 Minnesota Georgia Tech Kent State George Washington DuPage "16-team double elimination tournament with best 2-of-3 finals"
1990 Chicago MIT George Washington Rice Minnesota "16-team double elimination tournament with best 2-of-3 finals"
1991 Rice Cornell Minnesota Wisconsin UIC "16-team full round robin tournament with best 2-of-3 playoff"
1992 MIT Stanford Penn Cornell George Washington "16-team full round robin tournament with best 2-of-3 playoff"
1993 Virginia Michigan Chicago Harvard USC "16-team full round robin tournament with best 2-of-3 playoff" Partial stats (standings & game scores)
1994 Chicago Virginia Brigham Young George Washington Florida "16-team full round robin tournament with best 2-of-3 playoff" Stats
1995 Harvard Chicago Michigan Brigham Young Akron "16-team full round robin tournament with best 2-of-3 playoff" Stats
1996 Michigan Virginia Princeton Cornell Arizona State "16-team full round robin tournament with best 2-of-3 playoff" Stats
1997 Virginia Harvard Oklahoma Chicago Montclair State "16-team full round robin tournament with best 2-of-3 playoff" Stats
1998 Michigan Cornell Stanford Chicago Texas-Dallas 16-team full round robin tournament with best 2-of-3 finals Stats
1999 Chicago Michigan Minnesota Virginia Tech Florida 16-team full round robin tournament with best 2-of-3 finals Standings only
2000 Michigan Arkansas Williams Florida Bentley 16-team full round robin tournament with best 2-of-3 finals Stats
2001 Michigan Chicago Texas Cornell Cal State-LA 16-team full round robin tournament with best 2-of-3 finals Stats
2002 Michigan UCLA Florida Providence Kansas State 16-team full round robin tournament with best 2-of-3 finals Stats
2003 Chicago Florida Rochester UCLA Penn 15-team full round robin tournament with double-elim playoff among top 4 Stats
2004 Minnesota Michigan Florida Georgetown Auburn-Montgomery 16-team full round robin tournament with double-elim playoff among top 4 Stats
2005 Minnesota Rochester Stanford Truman State University of Washington 16-team full round robin tournament with double-elim playoff among top 4 Stats
2006 UCLA Illinois WUSTL Minnesota Hartford 16-team full round robin tournament with double-elim playoff among top 4 Stats
2007 Minnesota USC Williams Baylor USC 16-team full round robin tournament with double-elim playoff among top 4 Stats
2008 Rochester New Mexico Minnesota Ohio State Macalester 16-team full round robin tournament with double-elim playoff among top 4 Stats

NCT Participants (Regional champions & wild cards)

Year Region 1 Region 2 Region 3 Region 4 Region 5 Region 6 Region 7 Region 8 Region 9 Region 10 Region 11 Region 12 Region 13 Region 14 Region 15 Wild card
1978 Yale Cornell Rutgers-Newark Charleston North Carolina Eckerd Michigan State Wisconsin-Eau Claire Illinois Iowa WUSTL Tulane Brigham Young Puget Sound Stanford Oberlin (R7)
1979 Harvard Cornell Rutgers-Newark Marshall Davidson Emory Oberlin Wisconsin-Eau Claire Notre Dame Iowa WUSTL Tulane Brigham Young Pacific Lutheran San Francisco State SIU-Carbondale (R9)
1980 MIT SUNY-Oneonta Rutgers-Newark Maryland North Carolina Emory Ohio State Chicago Purdue Iowa State WUSTL Rice Utah Washington State Fresno State See note[4]
1981 Harvard Vassar Princeton Maryland North Carolina Berry Michigan State Chicago Illinois Iowa WUSTL Tulane Brigham Young Idaho San Francisco State See note[5]
1982 Harvard Vassar Temple Maryland North Carolina Alabama Michigan State Wisconsin Purdue Minnesota WUSTL Rice Brigham Young Puget Sound Fresno State Wisconsin-Eau Claire (R8)
1984 Brandeis Vassar Princeton Maryland North Carolina Georgia Southern-Armstrong[6] Michigan Chicago Indiana Minnesota WUSTL Texas Arizona Idaho San Jose State Berkeley (R15)
1986 Dartmouth Rochester Princeton Georgetown Vanderbilt Georgia Tech Case Western Wisconsin Indiana Minnesota Kansas Texas A&M Utah Alaska UC-Irvine See note[7]
1987 Western Connecticut State Cornell NYU Georgetown NC State Georgia Tech Ohio State Wisconsin Notre Dame Minnesota WUSTL Louisiana State Utah Idaho UC-Irvine Kansas (R11)
1988 Harvard Cornell Princeton Georgetown NC State Emory Kent State Chicago Indiana Minnesota WUSTL Rice Utah Washington UC-San Diego MIT (R1)
1989 Brandeis Cornell Princeton George Washington Virginia Georgia Tech Kent State Chicago Illinois Minnesota WUSTL Rice Utah Idaho Pomona College Michigan State (R7)
1990 MIT Cornell Penn George Washington NC State Florida State Kent State Chicago Illinois Minnesota WUSTL Rice Brigham Young Oregon UC-Irvine Berry (R6)
1991 Williams Cornell Penn Penn State Virginia Georgia State Michigan Wisconsin Illinois Minnesota Truman State[8] Rice Utah Oregon Stanford WUSTL (R11)
1992 MIT Cornell Penn Georgetown Virginia Georgia State Michigan Chicago Illinois Minnesota Truman State[8] Rice Brigham Young Oregon Stanford Iowa State (R10)
1993 Harvard SUNY-Albany Penn George Washington Virginia Berry Michigan Chicago Illinois Minnesota WUSTL Rice Brigham Young Puget Sound Stanford Truman State[8] (R11)
1994 Dartmouth Cornell Princeton George Washington Virginia Georgia State Western Michigan Chicago Illinois Iowa State Truman State[8] Midwestern State Brigham Young Oregon Berkeley UT-Dallas (R12)
1995 Harvard Cornell Princeton George Washington Virginia Florida Michigan Chicago Illinois Iowa State Oklahoma UT-Dallas Brigham Young Alaska Stanford Alfred (R2)
1996 MIT Cornell Princeton Johns Hopkins Virginia Florida Western Michigan Chicago SIU-Carbondale Minnesota Oklahoma Houston Utah Portland Community College-Sylvania Stanford Michigan (R7)
1997 Harvard Cornell Princeton Johns Hopkins Virginia Florida Ohio State Chicago Indiana Iowa Oklahoma UT-Dallas Utah Washington Stanford Illinois-Chicago (R8)
1998 Harvard Cornell NYU Pittsburgh South Carolina Florida Michigan Chicago Indiana Minnesota WUSTL UT-Dallas Arizona State Washington Stanford Virginia Tech (R5)
1999 Williams[9] Cornell College of New Jersey George Washington Virginia Tech Berry Michigan Chicago Illinois College Iowa Wichita State Texas Arizona State Washington Stanford Minnesota (R10)
2000 Williams Cornell College of New Jersey Pittsburgh Rhodes Florida Michigan Wisconsin Indiana Iowa Oklahoma Arkansas Utah Alaska USC Chicago (R8)
2001 Williams Cornell Delaware Pittsburgh Centre Florida Michigan Chicago Wabash South Dakota Oklahoma Texas Utah Washington UCLA College of New Jersey (R3)
2002 Providence Rochester NYU Pittsburgh Roanoke Florida Michigan Chicago IUPUI Minnesota Oklahoma Arkansas Arizona Alaska UCLA WUSTL (R11)
2003 Boston University Rochester Delaware Pittsburgh Virginia Tech Florida Michigan Chicago Notre Dame Minnesota Oklahoma Arkansas Utah Montana State-Billings UCLA See note[10]
2004 Dartmouth Cornell SUNY-Stony Brook Georgetown Davidson Florida Michigan Chicago Rose-Hulman Minnesota Truman State Baylor Colorado State Washington UCLA Illinois-Chicago (R8)
2005 Williams Rochester SUNY-Stony Brook Pittsburgh Wofford Georgia Michigan State Northwestern Illinois Minnesota Truman State Harding New Mexico Montana State-Billings Stanford Valdosta State (R6)
2006 UMass-Lowell St. Bonaventure Seton Hall Bucknell Davidson Valdosta State Ohio State Northwestern Illinois Minnesota WUSTL Baylor Arizona Montana State-Billings UCLA New Mexico (R13)
2007 Williams St. Bonaventure Seton Hall UMBC Southern Virginia Florida Ohio State Northwestern Purdue Minnesota Missouri Baylor New Mexico Washington USC Providence (R1)
2008 Providence Rochester Seton Hall UMBC Georgetown College Florida State[11] Ohio State Wisconsin Ball State Minnesota WUSTL Rice Arizona State Western Oregon Pomona College New Mexico (R13)

Teams by number of NCT appearances

Appearances[12] Team
20 Minnesota
19 Chicago
17 Cornell
16 WUSTL
13 Michigan
11 Illinois · Utah
10 Florida · Stanford
9 Brigham Young · Harvard · Princeton · Rice
8 Virginia
7 Iowa · Ohio State · Oklahoma · Washington
6 George Washington · Indiana · Pittsburgh · Truman State · Williams[9] · Wisconsin
5 Georgetown · Michigan State · MIT · North Carolina · Rochester · UCLA
4 Alaska · Berry · Davidson · Idaho · Iowa State · Maryland · New Mexico · Notre Dame · Oregon · Penn · UT-Dallas · Wisconsin-Eau Claire
3 Arizona · Arizona State · Arkansas · Baylor · College of New Jersey · Dartmouth · Emory · Georgia State · Georgia Tech · Kent State · Marshall · Montana State-Billings · NC State · Northwestern · NYU · Providence · Puget Sound · Purdue · Rutgers-Newark · Seton Hall · Texas · Tulane · UC-Irvine · Vanderbilt · Vassar · Virginia Tech
2 Berkeley · Brandeis · Delaware · Fresno State · Georgia · Illinois-Chicago · Johns Hopkins · Kansas · Oberlin · Pomona College · San Francisco State · SIU-Carbondale · St. Bonaventure · SUNY-Stony Brook · Temple · UMBC · USC · Valdosta State · Western Michigan · Wichita State · Yale
1 Alabama · Alfred · Ball State · Boston University · Bucknell · Case Western · Centre · Charleston · Colorado State · Earlham · Eckerd · Florida State[11] · Georgia Southern-Armstrong · Georgetown College · Harding · Houston · Illinois College · IUPUI · Louisiana State · Midwestern State · Missouri · Oklahoma Baptist · Pacific Lutheran · Penn State · Portland Community College-Sylvania · Rhodes · Roanoke · Rose-Hulman · San Jose State · South Carolina · South Dakota · Southern Virginia · SUNY-Albany · SUNY-Oneonta · Texas A&M · Texas Christian · UC-San Diego · UMass-Lowell · Wabash · Wake Forest · Washington State · Western Connecticut State · Western Oregon · Wofford

NCT medal count

Team Championships Second Place Finishes
(Total Top 2 Finishes)
Third Place Finishes
(Total Top 3 Finishes)
Fourth Place Finishes
(Total Top 4 Finishes)
Arkansas 0 1 (1) 0 (1) 0 (1)
Baylor 0 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (1)
Brigham Young 0 0 (0) 1 (1) 1 (2)
Chicago 4 2 (6) 1 (7) 2 (9)
Cornell 0 2 (2) 1 (3) 4 (7)
Davidson 1 1 (2) 0 (2) 0 (2)
Emory 0 1 (1) 0 (1) 0 (1)
Florida 0 1 (1) 2 (3) 1 (4)
Fresno State 1 0 (1) 0 (1) 0 (1)
George Washington 0 0 (0) 1 (1) 2 (3)
Georgetown 0 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (1)
Georgia Tech 0 2 (2) 1 (3) 0 (3)
Harvard 1 2 (3) 0 (3) 1 (4)
Illinois 0 1 (1) 0 (1) 0 (1)
Kent State 0 0 (0) 1 (1) 1 (2)
Marshall 0 0 (0) 1 (1) 0 (1)
Maryland 1 0 (1) 0 (1) 0 (1)
Michigan 5 3 (8) 1 (9) 0 (9)
Michigan State 0 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (1)
Minnesota 6 0 (6) 3 (9) 1 (10)
MIT 1 1 (2) 1 (3) 0 (3)
NC State 1 0 (1) 1 (2) 0 (2)
New Mexico 0 1 (1) 0 (1) 0 (1)
North Carolina 1 0 (1) 0 (1) 0 (1)
Oberlin 0 0 (0) 1 (1) 1 (2)
Ohio State 0 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (1)
Oklahoma 0 0 (0) 1 (1) 0 (1)
Penn 0 0 (0) 1 (1) 0 (1)
Princeton 0 1 (1) 3 (4) 0 (4)
Providence 0 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (1)
Rice 1 1 (2) 0 (2) 1 (3)
Rochester 1 1 (2) 1 (3) 0 (3)
Stanford 1 1 (2) 2 (4) 0 (4)
Texas 0 0 (0) 1 (1) 0 (1)
Truman State 0 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (1)
UCLA 1 1 (2) 0 (2) 1 (3)
USC 0 1 (1) 0 (1) 0 (1)
Utah 0 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (1)
Vassar 0 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (2)
Virginia 2 2 (4) 0 (4) 0 (4)
Virginia Tech 0 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (1)
Washington State 0 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (1)
Western Connecticut State 0 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (1)
Williams 0 0 (0) 2 (2) 0 (2)
Wisconsin 1 0 (1) 0 (1) 1 (2)
WUSTL 0 2 (2) 2 (4) 0 (4)
Yale 0 1 (1) 0 (1) 0 (1)
  1. Formats used for old NCTs: https://web.archive.org/web/19970506201422/http://www.collegebowl.com/archives/archnct.html
  2. This team is denoted "Harvard-Radcliffe" in some sources. Harvard and Radcliffe began a formal affiliation in 1977 and merged into one university in 1999. Most likely, some students who began their university careers at an independent Radcliffe College did in fact play on this team.
  3. Most likely the CBS Broadcast Center on 57th street, given that the tournament was produced for radio, though all the articles are weirdly vague about this.
  4. This was one of the two years in which the NCT used a 3-stage, 24-team format. The additional teams invited besides the 15 regional champions were Earlham, Harvard, Marshall, Oklahoma Baptist, Texas Christian, Georgia, Iowa, Notre Dame, and Vanderbilt.
  5. This was one of the two years in which the NCT used a 3-stage, 24-team format. The additional teams invited besides the 15 regional champions were Davidson, Marshall, Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Temple, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Wichita State, and Yale.
  6. "Georgia Southern University-Armstrong Campus" is the current full name of the school that was known as "Armstrong State College" at the time of this tournament.
  7. This year used a "sectional" stage between the RCT and NCT. Only the top four teams, presumably the sectional champions, actually participated in the final national stage. Whether any teams beyond the 15 regional champions were invited to participate in the sectionals has not been determined; thus, it is possible there was no wild card in this year.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 The school now known as Truman State University was called Northeast Missouri State University until June 1996.
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Williams team attended the NCT site in 1999 but was not permitted to participate in games due to their faculty sponsor failing to arrive. This is counted as a nationals appearance in the table.
  10. There was no wild card team in 2003. The tournament ran with 15 teams.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Florida State no-showed to the NCT in 2008. All of their games were recorded as losses with FSU scoring 0 points and each opponent scoring their tournament average PPG. This is not counted as an NCT appearance in the table.
  12. Includes teams which lost at the "Sectional" level in 1986.