National Invitation Tournament

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An annual event run at Emory in the early 1980s as a proto-ACF national championship. Unlike College Bowl NCT, the event was run on 20/20 untimed packets, did not restrict itself to one team per ACUI region, and happened in 1983 and 1985. Like College Bowl NCT, it was restricted to one team per school.

The 1983 edition was the only putative national championship run that year. Michigan State won the tournament, though Brigham Young was mathematically within range of winning when they had to drop out because the final six rounds were played on a Sunday.

The 1984 tournament moved to a Friday-Saturday schedule to accomodate BYU and was won by North Carolina, who lost only to Minnesota. The 1984 tournament is believed to be the first use of a swiss pair system in a quizbowl tournament. UNC repeated the next year, losing to Brigham Young and Texas A&M but still clearing the field, in what was in 1985 the only national of any kind that was run.

Interestingly, College Bowl chief question writer Mike Decker was involved in editing and running this tournament, suggesting that College Bowl did not view independent quizbowl as a rival until later in the 1980s. Other figures who edited the tournament in years that it ran as packet-submission, and helped write it in other years, included Lloyd Busch and Robert Meredith.

The tournament folded after 1985. The next attempt at a non-College Bowl national championship tournament was the All-American Invitational, which began in 1988 and ultimately was transformed into ACF Nationals in 1991. Some have proposed that the Georgia Tech US Open, which ran before, during, and after the interregnum, can be considered the independent national championship of 1986 and 1987, but this is problematic as the tournament allowed masters teams and was not generally considered a national by the independent circuit in the way that the NIT and AAI were.

Results

Note: The tournament existed as early as 1979, but no information about the pre-1983 events has yet been recovered.

NIT Date Champion Second Third Fourth Editor Field size Notes
1983 NIT April 9-10, 1983 Michigan State 20 Other participants included BYU, Emory, North Carolina, Harvard, Princeton, Idaho, Georgia Tech, Chicago, Duke, Earlham, Indiana, Lehigh, Maryland, Minnesota, Tulane, Wagner. WUSTL, Wisconsin, and Ohio State.
1984 NIT North Carolina Emory Georgia Tech Brigham Young 23 Other participants included Tennessee, Penn, Oregon, Armstrong State, Kent State, Northern Iowa, NC State, Marshall, Duke, Minnesota, WUSTL, and Idaho.
1985 NIT North Carolina Emory (tied for second) Brigham Young (tied for second) Dartmouth, Georgia Tech, & others (tied for fourth) 34 Other participants included Texas A&M, Minnesota, Utah, Alabama, Idaho, Washington, Auburn, Harding, Michigan, NC State, Purdue, WUSTL, Ohio State, and Vanderbilt.