UVA Quiz Bowl going for another national championship

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Sometimes the biggest competition isn't on the field or a court, but rather in a classroom early on a Saturday morning.

"It's this very rigorous, team-based, academic competition, spanning the entire academic space," Eric Xu said, a third-year Quiz Bowl team member.

It's called Quiz Bowl and the team over at Virginia is pretty good.

"This is a very historically successful program, we've won a lot of national titles," first-year member Colin Cantwell said.

"In the past couple of years we've won a few national titles," Xu said, "We've also come in second in the division two and undergrad division."

To be exact Virginia teams have brought home three national championships since 2012. And even though it might not look like it, there is more to it than just knowing a lot about everything.

"The best teams have to differentiate, you have to learn different categories," Xu said.

"Splitting it up by one person is your lit player, so there really good at books, authors, plots, stuff like that," second-year member Kevon Turnamian said.

And then there is the buzzer.

"It absolutely makes me nervous," Xu said, "The thought process in the millisecond before pressing the buzzer is the most important part."

"If I'm playing well, I'm a lot more liable to make riskier buzzes than I would be otherwise," Cantwell said.

But even being a little trigger happy can be a good thing.

"Giving a wrong answer is better than giving no answer at all, so that kind of helps people get over the fear of people are going to laugh at me," Turnamian said.

"You sort of get rolling, you do quick early buzzes and that can be really intimidating for the other team," Xu said.

They may call it a re-building year, but another national championship is not out of reach.

"Our D-II team is one of the stronger ones this year, so it's nice to have that kind of one more shot at winning nationals," Cantwell said.

The 2018 Intercollegiate Championship will be in Rosemont, Illinois April 13-14.

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