This weekend, 11 teams will be representing Southern California at NAQT’s High School National Championship Tournament in Atlanta, Georgia. The following weekend in Reston, Virginia, seven teams from SoCal will be competing at the National Scholastic Championship hosted by the Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence (PACE). The table below provides a quick summary of the two national competitions.

HSNCT NSC
  • Hosted by NAQT in Atlanta, GA
  • 343 teams, 11 from SoCal
  • Computational math bonuses
  • Timed rounds (two 9-minute halves)
  • 15-point powers and 5-point negs
  • No bouncebacks
  • Ten (10) Swiss-matched preliminary games on Saturday
  • Double-elimination playoffs on Sunday
  • Hosted by PACE in Reston, VA
  • 95 teams, 7 from SoCal
  • No computational math
  • Untimed rounds
  • 20-point powers and 0-point negs
  • Bouncebacks
  • Seven (7) preliminary games and five (5) playoff games on Saturday
  • Three (3) to seven (7) superplayoff games on Sunday

As HSNCT and PACE NSC quickly approach, here’s a preview of what to expect:

Arcadia A (HSNCT, Morlan 46) 

Arcadia A took first place at Triton Pre-Nats on Sunday, however, they lost a few crucial games against strong teams including CCA A and Irvine. On the bright side, their consistent performance all of this season should benefit them greatly at HSNCT. Humanities specialist Andrew Hoagland (11) continues to dominate, and with everyone on the team having competed at nationals before, they have great potential to move far into playoffs. 

Arcadia A at Triton Pre-Nats @UCSD 5/20/2018- From left to right: Roger Lin, Andrew Hoagland, Hamlin Liu, William Shue

Predictions: 8-2 prelims, 3-2 playoffs

Arcadia B (HSNCT, unranked)

Arcadia B retains two players from last year’s nationals squad, so they have the needed experience to perform well at HSNCT. On the flip side, they seem to face challenges with consistency that will be difficult to iron out by Saturday. Arcadia B would have to step up their game in order to make it into the playoffs. 

Arcadia B at Triton Pre-Nats @UCSD 5/20/2018- From left to right: Xiaoke Ying, Michael Huang, Sean Ye

Prediction: 4-6 prelims

Canyon Crest A (HSNCT, NSC, Morlan 2)

After two strong performances during UCSD’s wonderful weekend of quizbowl, Canyon Crest A demonstrates a great depth of knowledge per usual. They have swept the field at multiple tournaments this season, often defeating local college teams as well. Jeffrey Qiu (12) and Daniel Wang (12) cover a lot of ground for NSC, and with Boopala Arul (12) and Alan Zhu (11), they will also have the needed coverage for HSNCT. Consistently ranking in the top 5 nationally, we can expect to see Canyon Crest winning some big games at HSNCT and NSC.

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CCA A at Triton Spring @UCSD 5/19/2018- From left to right: Boopala Arul, Daniel Wang, Jeffrey Qiu, and Alan Zhu

Prediction (HSNCT): 9-1 prelims, 4th finish

Prediction (NSC): 7-0 prelims, 5-0 playoffs, 2nd finish

Canyon Crest B (HSNCT, NSC, Morlan 51)

With the full team having competed at nationals last year, CCA B definitely stands out. Wesley Zhang (10) has made great strides this year becoming the team’s lead scorer with Raymond Song (10) not far behind. Their depth of knowledge has increased from last year, giving them an edge coming into nationals this weekend. 

CCA B at Triton Spring @UCSD 5/19/2018- From left to right: Shreyank Kadadi, Raymond Song, Wesley Zhang (Not pictured: Claire Lee)

Prediction (HSNCT): 7-3 prelims, 1-2 playoffs

Prediction (NSC): 4-3 prelims

Irvine (HSNCT, Morlan 45)

Irvine did an impressive job again this season. Generalist Shripad Badithe (12) and science player Andy Huang (12) have led their team to many victories this season. With Celina Shen (10) and Justin Chen (12) joining the nationals squad this year, they still have the depth and knowledge they have had the past few years. Irvine will certainly be a very strong contender, and I’m sure the prelims will be no problem for them.

Irvine at Triton Pre-Nats @UCSD 5/20/2018- From left to right: Celina Shen, Shripad Badithe, Andy Huang, Justin Chen

Prediction: 6-4 prelims, 1-1 playoffs

North Hollywood (HSNCT, Morlan 80)

Despite bringing what seems to be a different fourth scorer (or none at all) to each tournament, North Hollywood still manages to rank well with its three main players. Brandon Hong (11) has made impressive improvements this season to lead the team, yet they will still be in need of some extra depth of knowledge to defeat top teams this weekend. Whether North Hollywood does well in the playoffs or not will depend on the performance of Ronen Lee (11) and Hansub Kim (12). 

North Hollywood at Triton Spring @UCSD 5/19/2018- From left to right: Ronen Lee, Hansub Kim, Brandon Hong

Prediction: 6-4 prelims, 1-1 playoffs

Olympian A (HSNCT, Morlan 87)

Olympian as a whole is a very underrated team. They bring in a fantastic power percentage with minimal negging. On the other hand, the full team hasn’t played a tournament together in at least a couple of months, but hopefully that shouldn’t be too big of a problem. As Eddie Kim mentioned last year though, their strengths in literature may not be enough to outweigh their gap in science knowledge, as NAQT does have a hefty science distribution. Overall, they are one talented team and I am optimistic about them making it into the playoffs. 

Prediction: 6-4 prelims, 1-1 playoffs

Olympian B (HSNCT, Morlan 145)

Similar to Olympian A, Olympian B is very consistent and I can definitely see them doing well at nationals this year. With their B team not far behind their A team, I can see them doing almost as well as their A team. Olympian appears to change their roster for each tournament, but, in general, the main difference between their A and B team is that their B team negs more, which could be costly. Regardless, I still think Olympian B has the potential to make it into the playoff rounds this weekend.  

Prediction: 6-4 prelims, 0-1 playoffs

San Dieguito Academy (NSC, Morlan 134)

San Dieguito Academy’s lead scorer Klaus Neyer (12) never fails to lead his team to a successful tournament, and with valuable science player Rokas Veitas (12), SDA will definitely be a powerhouse. San Dieguito is perhaps one of the most consistent  teams with very few negs and an always solid PPB, but it will take a little more than that to get them through the playoffs. 

Prediction: 5-2 prelims, 1-4 playoffs

Santa Monica A (HSNCT, Morlan 122)

Santa Monica A made a strong showing at IHOP earlier this season, so they could probably make it into the top half of the field just like last year. Based off of the few tournaments they played this season, they have improved from last season, so I feel positive about them making an appearance in the playoff rounds. If Santa Monica is able to attend more tournaments, they have such a high potential of becoming a dominant team in SoCal in the future.

Prediction: 6-4 prelims, 0-1 playoffs

Santa Monica B (HSNCT, unranked)

Somewhat similar to Troy, there are not very many stats for me to base my predictions off of for Santa Monica B, but from the stats that are out there, things are looking relatively grim for them. SCT is understandably somewhat more challenging than a regular IS set, but they still struggled this season at SoCal State Champs. With more experience, they could become a stronger team in future years. 

Prediction: 1-9 prelims

Scripps Ranch (HSNCT, unranked)

For the last couple of years, generalist Joon Lee (12) has led Scripps Ranch to national appearances. However, due to the fact that the full A team still has not had an opportunity to play a tournament together, predicting their performance for this weekend could be interesting. Consistency appears to be something they struggle with, but they do have the potential to win important games.

Scripps Ranch at Triton Pre-Nats @UCSD 5/20/2018- From left to right: Albert Gu, Jack Izzo, Michelle He

Prediction: 4-6 prelims

Troy NJROTC A (NSC, unranked)

After qualifying at an NJROTC invitational earlier in the fall, Troy has not made any other appearances this season. From the few statistics I have found, their PP20TUH  falls short of other teams. With this being said, Troy should look into attending more SoCal events next season to gain more experience which should help them improve greatly.

Prediction: 3-4 prelims

Troy NJROTC B (NSC, unranked)

See above.

Prediction: 1-6 prelims

Troy NJROTC C (NSC, unranked)

See above.

Prediction: 1-6 prelims

Westview (NSC, Morlan 59)

Westview has made some big roster changes from last year to this year due to the graduation of many key players including Rahul Keyal (’17). This year, Westview rebuilt most of their roster, and Kevin Yu (12) did a fantastic job of leading his team to a successful season. Although they lack the depth they had last year (getting only about half of the powers than they got last year), they are still a strong team and we can expect to see good things going their way in June.

Westview at Triton Spring @UCSD 5/19/2018- From left to right: Daniel Shaw, Rohan Venkateswaran, Kevin Yu, Shahar Schwartz

Prediction: 6-1 prelims, 3-2 playoffs

Good luck to all teams that will be competing!

Photo credits: Jonathan Luck

9 thoughts on “2017-2018 Southern California Nationals Preview

  1. The Irvine HSNCT prediction doesn’t quite make sense; teams that go 6–4 in the prelims start the playoffs in the losers’ bracket, so they would be eliminated on their first loss and can only go x–1 in the playoffs (or go undefeated therein and win the championship).

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    1. Well, theoretically a 6-4 team could make the semifinals and lose, and then go on to lose in the third-place game, thus going x-2 in the playoffs.

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  2. For the most part, these HSNCT projections were fairly accurate.

    Arcadia A: projected 8-2, 3-2; actual 7-3, 3-2
    Arcadia B: projected 4-6, N/A; actual 5-5, N/A
    CCA A: 9-1, 4th place; 9-1, 12th place
    CCA B: 7-3, 1-2; 7-3, 3-2
    Irvine: 6-4, 1-1; 6-4, 0-1
    NOHO: 6-4, 1-1; 5-5, N/A
    Olympian A: 6-4, 1-1; 6-4, 2-1
    Olympian B: 6-4, 0-1; 5-5, N/A
    SAMO A: 6-4, 0-1; 6-4, 0-1
    SAMO B: 1-9, N/A; 5-5, N/A
    Scripps: 4-6, N/A; 7-3, 1-2

    The most striking difference between the projections and real results was with SAMO B. Perhaps the Arcadia people who wrote these projections should have done their homework and found out that only one member of the SAMO A team at the SoCal championship played at IHOP. As a result, they could have inferred that the other three members of that SAMO A team would play for SAMO B, and not the four ocean sciences bowl players who were willing to pay to attend a quiz bowl competition and thus went 0-9.

    Also, Troy A, B, and C are inexplicably left out of the HSNCT projections.

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    1. In addition, a 1-9 projection for that SAMO B team at Arcadia would have been too low anyway. They outscored all the teams that went 1-9 at HSNCT. They probably could have gotten to 2-8.

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      1. Let me start off by saying two things:
        1. Kady, the person who wrote this rankings post is not an “Arcadia person.” She is a student from Rancho Bernardo HS.
        2. Kady wrote this post (and pretty much runs the SoCal circuit) on her own personal time. We should thank her and shouldn’t forget that she is volunteering her time to create content like this.

        Secondly, to address both Scripps Ranch’s and Santa Monica’s complaints about their rankings:
        Rankings like these always have some degree of uncertainty, even for teams that keep a consistent roster and attend (pretty much) all tournaments throughout the year. This is due to a limited amount of data on how well the team plays on packets of HSNCT/NSC difficulty. This is probably why Scripps was ranked lower than they actually performed.

        For Santa Monica, the issue arises when Kady has three data points (two of “Santa Monica A” and one of “Santa Monica B”) to work with and an unclear picture of what rosters are going to be. I don’t think can reasonable expect Kady to spend hours going through every team’s rosters at every tournament appearance and try to guess exactly what the national rosters are going to look like. She even messaged me before writing the rankings for Santa Monica B to see if I could figure out how Santa Monica B qualified. Neither of us could figure it out because (as we now know) Santa Monica B qualified under a wildcard while playing as “Santa Monica A.” Don’t get me wrong, we understand that B teams play as A teams on occasion, but with so few data points, we couldn’t really see that the B team was playing as the A team. If the “real” Santa Monica A and B teams had played more tournaments at the same, it would have been clear what the rosters for each were, and she could have made more accurate predictions.

        Lastly quipping at whether the Santa Monica B team we used for predictions (9ppb and 0-9 at SoCal States) should have been 1-9 or 2-8 is kind of pointless. It is hard to predict what will happen when only 50-70% of questions heard are converted (which happens quite a bit for teams that are 1-9/2-8). In games like that, just pure luck has a larger influence on the game than most people would like. A 2-8 team can very easily go 1-9 or vice versa when converting just one more tossup can swing the game.

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      2. As people on our teams (and our “coach”) would say, “Arcadia, Rancho Bernardo, what’s the difference?”

        I will admit that the SoCal Regional Tournament’s statistics and rosters were messed up. Perhaps if they had gotten SAMO A’s roster correct, it would have been easier to figure out that only one member of the that team had ever played for SAMO A before and two other members had played in previous tournaments.

        Logically, one could have guessed most of the rosters based off of the seven different people who played for SAMO A this year (and previous years).

        There are fundamentally two ways to get into nationals: qualifying or getting a wild card. I have trouble seeing how a team that made one appearance all year and went 0-9 with a 9.43 PPB could possibly get into nationals via a wild card. And I highly doubt that such a team could get in by a mysterious “special ruling”.

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      3. 1) You can’t attack someone’s character by calling the (singular) author “people from Arcadia” and then say “what’s the difference?” when you’re proven wrong

        2) Predictions are, and this is true for literally every spectator sport, based on prior results shown by the team in the activity in which the competition takes place. It’s not the author’s fault that you failed to field a roster which would shed any light on your potential nationals performance, just like it’s not your fault that you couldn’t provide the author anything better to work off of. Can you list off the names of the four players who will play on Arcadia C in the first tournament they attend next year? I don’t see how you can continually field confusing rosters and then expect people to “logically” guess who your “never before seen” team is. If you want your reputation to more accurately reflect your skill, then play more tournaments! All of this is ultimately just periphery to the game itself, after all.

        3) This post’s predictions are clearly an intellectual exercise done _for fun_, and I think it’s fairly obvious that any attempt to predict results is going to be filled with guesswork and uncertainty. If I were the one writing these predictions, I’d have guessed very differently than Kady did–and I would’ve been incredibly wrong in many cases too (although I think a little less off than she was on a lot of these), and I guarantee that any prediction you published would have just as much error!

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  3. I wasn’t attacking anybody’s character when I mentioned “Arcadia people”. The point of saying “what’s the difference” means that it isn’t important whether a person from Arcadia, Rancho Bernardo, Olympian, or whatever school wrote these predictions.

    Obviously, I can’t make a projection of what Arcadia C’s roster will look like next year. However, say Arcadia C makes HSNCT next year. I could make a good guess on what Arcadia A, B, and C’s rosters would look like based off of the people Arcadia sent to competitions. I would find the twelve highest scorers and assume that those were the people who would play at nationals.

    That could have been done for SAMO. I understand that the rosters for the regional championship were messed up. Perhaps if it was clear who was actually playing at that tournament, it would have been easier to find the eight highest scorers.

    Additionally, I fail to see how a team consisting of players that went 0-9 in their only tournament could possibly make nationals in any way.

    I also want to make this straight: I didn’t have a problem with our 1-9 projection and I’m not complaining about it. I was perfectly fine with being projected 1-9 because that meant we really had nothing to play for (since it only took us one game to meet our projection and three to beat it) and we could just play our best without the pressure of living up to expectations. The reason why I’m pointing out the discrepancy between the projections and actual results is that Socalquizbowl’s projections are generally mostly accurate, as nine out of the eleven teams receiving projections (Troy A, B, and C were left out) finished within one game of their projection. This website is clearly a legitimate site run by qualified people, and I felt that figuring out SAMO’s situation wouldn’t be too difficult. On the other hand, if we were projected to go 1-9 by, say, hsqbrank.com, I really wouldn’t care. hsqbrank.com is a joke website operated by unqualified individuals whose rankings come nowhere near actual results (ex. Plano West A was clearly the best team at HSNCT, yet they were ranked 12th in the pre-nationals rankings).

    And if I were to write my own projections, I would have come up with something very similar to Kady’s, with the exception of SAMO B.

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