RICHMOND- The Hoosier state is known for Bobby Knight, the Pacers, and the Colts. Now add a college kid to the mix.

Indiana senior Tyler Combs took over in Double Jeopardy and cruised to a dominant victory over Minnesota sophomore Nibir Sarma and Liberty junior Natalie Hathcote.

The Hoosier victory ensured Combs of the fifth and final guaranteed spot into next week’s semi-finals with a score of $28,400 to Sarma’s $18,448 and Hathcote’s $4,400.

It’s not all bad for Sarma as his score ranks among the highest of the non-winners, meaning he and the Golden Gophers gets another chance and will move on to the semi-finals. The same cannot be said for Hathcote as unfortunate, the journey ends here for the Flames.

It’s now time for us to look forward to the semi-finals, although after the Jeopardy round, Combs was trailing by quite a bit.

Hathcote dominated the first 30 clues and even hit the first Daily Double in “Old Deuteronomy”. She got it right and made it a true DD.

Both Sarma and Combs struggled early but didn’t make too many mistakes. Going into DJ, Hathcote led with $7,800 to Combs’ $3,800 and Sarma $2,600.

In Double Jeopardy, the guys took over the buzzer and took off with it. Combs found the first Daily Double in “Literary Genres” and got it right to increase his lead. Sarma found the next Daily Double in “Head for the Hills” but got it wrong. Still, it wasn’t a heavy wager and he didn’t fall too far behind.

Hathcote, while not going as fast as before, played well and gave herself a shot to at least compete for a wild card berth. Heading into the final round, the scores stood Combs $29,200, Hathcote $9,800, and Sarma $9,700

Combs already was moving on, so it came down to the other two as to whether or not they would earn a Wild-Card berth. The score to beat was $6,799 if one was to get in and $12,800 if both wanted in. An incorrect response in final, regardless of wager would mean an exit.

Therefore, wiggle room was out of the question. Bet smart and bet well because the stakes were high and school pride/bragging rights were on the line.

The Final Jeopardy Category: Words in the News. The Clue: On September 25, 2019, searches on Merriam-Webster.com for the definition of this 3-word Latin term increased by 5,500%. The Answer: Quid Pro Quo.

Sarma got it right and took a big risk on the wager and it paid off with a wild-card appearance. Hathcote got it wrong and what hurts most of all is that had she been right, she would have had a high enough score to reach the semi-finals.

Combs had already locked the game away so there really was nothing to do except just attempt to answer the final clue. Despite an incorrect response, it really didn’t matter because the victory was in hands.

The Schools that are moving on to next week: Texas, Yale, Ole Miss, Hendrix, Indiana, Minnesota, Florida, Northwestern and USC

Those who are heading home with a $5,000 prize: Carnegie Mellon, Florida State, Liberty, Yale, Princeton, and UC San Diego.

Up next: Semi Final #1. Indiana vs Florida vs Northwestern.

The Wildcats have the longest history of the three, but the Gators and Hoosiers won’t back down easily. You have seen the performance from Tyler, Kayla, and Beni. This should be fun

From 15 outstanding players, we have now made out way to the Final 9. Of the schools remaining, the USC Trojans are the only ones to have hoisted the College Championship trophy.

Will Xiaoke be able to deliver USC a second college championship and tie them with Stanford for the most ever, or will a new school have the opportunity to bring home the trophy for the first time ever?

Next week promises to be an exciting time. Those who left received $5,000, and those who are eliminated now will only get $10,000.

Semi Final #2 features Hendrix, Ole Miss, and Minnesota. Semi Final #3 features Texas, Yale and USC.

No wild cards or second chances barring the unexpected. It’s win or go home time as the tournament continues.