Academic Team Finishes 5th at Nationals
For the 5th time in the last 7 years Jefferson finished 5th in the nation among Community Colleges. The other 2 years Jefferson finished 1st (2016) and 6th (2017).
The B team finished 23rd in the country with a couple of nice wins for our 5 players in their first national experience.
This was a super tough field, maybe one of the best ever. Jefferson put up our best numbers ever too. We finished 7-4, and were one win away from top 4, two wins away from the championship. No team went undefeated.
Probably the biggest highlights were individual awards – where Jefferson had 2 of the top 3 scorers in the country. Alex (Zachary) Akridge finished 2nd in the nation in scoring, and Tim Ellis finished 3rd. Alex tied our highest finish ever (Scott Zwyedorff was also 2nd in 2013).
Friday night started out great as we crushed our 5 opponents –we never trailed at all - only one victory was less than 300 points, and that was a 200 point thrashing of Pensacola. Our margins of victory on Friday night were 335, 390, 410, 345, and 200. We beat the #7 team in the country (Wallace State) by 345 points. But we got a tough draw on Saturday morning, playing the #2 and #3 teams first. The first match to De Anza College (CA) we got down about 150-0, had a furious comeback to close to 260-240, and on one of the very last toss-ups they got a question where the answer was “California”. They were the only team in the tournament from California, and buzzed in super early. Really bad break for us. We then lost our 2nd match Saturday morning to Manatee, and it was tough to recover from that. We still played well and actually finished tied for the most powers (34) and were 3rd or better in almost every statistical category. Valencia won the tournament, Manatee was 2nd, De Anza finished 3rd, and Chipola was 4th. Top 6 got trophies. Top 12 individuals were also recognized.
Morgan Williamson led the B team in scoring and finished 32nd overall.
Huge congratulations to both of our teams:
A team: Tim Ellis, Alex (Zachary) Akridge, Aaron Parker and Juan Mancilla
B Team: Morgan Williamson, Cameron Felhoelter, Jessica Bailey, Ben Poe, and Francisco Casal
Our overall rankings at this point in the season (including 4 year schools) here. While we will miss the chance to take on Harvard at the ICT next month, we are ranked 46th in the country out of 180 Teams that played these questions in Division II. We are just ahead of Kentucky (47), NC State (48), BYU (51), Florida State (53), Western Kentucky (57), Vanderbilt (58), Louisville (59), Texas (67), LSU (68) and a bunch of others obviously. Pretty neat. For reference our D-value right now (kind of a sagarian or kenpom rating) is 319. Winner Valencia has a 323 – so it was really tight among the top 5 teams. Louisville’s D-value is 280. So hypothetically we would beat them on these questions 318-280. Looking back our national championship team of 2016 had a value of 258 – quite a bit lower than this team.