Students compete in ESPN game show

Three Baylor students competed on a new ESPN game show called "Bracket Genius." Photo credit: Courtesy Photo

By Jordan Smith | Sports Editor

Baylor’s men’s and women’s basketball teams are part of only four programs in the nation with both teams in the Sweet 16 of their March Madness tournaments. However, Baylor has a third team in March Madness, and no, it isn’t in Division I athletics.

Three Baylor students will be competing in a new quiz show on ESPN called “Bracket Genius,” which will debut at 4 p.m. CST today on ESPN2. This quiz show included the 16 teams that are competing in the Sweet 16 of the men’s March Madness bracket which include Baylor, South Carolina and more in a competition celebrating university academics. This quiz show features not only sports questions, but also questions in different categories such as history, geography, politics, literature, science, pop culture and arts.

This show will be presented by NFL Host and 1995 Baylor alumnus Trey Wingo. Wingo said he really enjoys the idea of this show.

“I’m excited to be a part of the show and channel my inner Wink Martindale,” Wingo said in a press release. “This show, like all the best things in life, is all about the kids.”

One of the students competing in this show for Baylor was San Antonio senior Trevor Taylor. A secondary education major, Taylor competed in this quiz show representing the university and said his experience of the process was a bit of a rush at first, but he enjoyed the rest of the experience.

“It was very hectic, knowing weeks before if we will actually be a part of this. It was a long process of being narrowed down. As soon as we found out that they [Baylor] won, about an hour later we received our flight information saying that we will be leaving about eight hours after that email,” Taylor said. “Just going out to Chicago was an absolute blast. Going out there and being a part of something that is going to be on National TV and that the interlocking BU on our chest and getting excited about that because we get to represent Baylor is great, so we can show that our school is not just athletics, it’s also academics.”

Another one of the three students representing Baylor is Spring senior Kat Largent. A Baylor Business Fellow, Largent said she had an experience unlike anything she’s witnessed.

“All three of us went in with the attitude of ‘no matter what the outcome is, what’s important is that we represent our school well and ourselves well,'” Largent said. “We wanted to go in and show the Baylor spirit and have a good time, be polite to everyone on set that we meet, and I think that we achieved that goal.”

Miami, Fla., senior Daniel Notman competed in the quiz show as well. A University Scholar at Baylor, he really appreciated the layout of the competition.

“It’s totally different. The tournament challenge they [ESPN] put on every year, you are creating your own brackets and kind of guessing how far your team will go. There’s certainly strategy to it,” Notman said. “With this competition, your understanding of pop culture or history or science or something like that is all that matters. Of course, there’s room for lucky guesses. This is far different than the regular tournament challenge, however.”

Largent also gave a little bit of a sneak peak into what to expect in the show airing this afternoon.

“It was a very tough competition with some really incredible teams. But I think overall, we represented the school well, and you’ll have to tune in to see what I mean by that,” Largent said.