RICHMOND- The contest was so tight that one single answer with a wager could turn the whole match upside down.
Sure enough, the Final Jeopardy rule came into play and thus, the College Championship has their first finalist.
Indiana senior Tyler Combs defeated Florida sophomore Kayla Kalhor and Northwestern freshman Beni Keown to send the Hoosiers to their first Jeopardy finals in school history
The Gators now stand with three semi-final appearances while the Wildcats now make it nine trips to the tournament with only a third place finish in 1994.
Early on however, it was Keown who took the charge and ran with it and Combs was in a distant third. Keown hit the first Daily Double in “Crossword Clues “P”” and nearly doubled his score.
Kalhor kept close with her pace and Combs couldn’t find his rhythm on the buzzer. At the end of the first round, It was Keown $10,600, Kalhor $6,600 and Combs with $2,000
In Double Jeopardy, Combs began to take off and keep pace with Keown while Kalhor could not get her buzzer groove going like earlier in the game.
Combs found the first Daily Double in “The English Bill of Rights”. Make a true Daily Double no doubt, and he got it right. He was only a couple thousand behind. Plus, he found it on the first clue of the round.
Combs then went hunting again and found the second Daily Double in “Roads Scholar”. No pun intended. He wagered a significant amount to take the lead.
But the game wasn’t over. There was still a lot of money out there and by the time the round ended, the scores were so tight, that anyone could win it.
Keown took a lead into final at $20,600. Combs rallied to be in second at $16,400 while Kalhor was in third at $13,000.
The Final Jeopardy Category: Religious Words. The Clue: This word for a concept in Eastern religions comes from Latin roots for “made in flesh” & “again”. Answer: Reincarnation.
Kalhor got it right and took the lead on her response. Combs got it right and risked it all to give himself the lead. It all came down to Keown and his answer.
The kid is extremely smart so we know he made a proper wager. If he was right, there was a good shot he’d move on to the finals. But if he was wrong…..game over.
Unfortunately, he missed it and the wager didn’t matter at that point. If right he would have won by $1. Instead, Combs was named a finalist and off goes Indiana to Thursday and Friday.
As for Kalhor and Keown, the tournament run may have ended in a disappointing way, but they wont be going home empty handed. Both players will receive a prize of $10,000 for reaching the Semi-Finals
Up next: Hendrix vs Ole Miss vs Minnesota
All 3 schools now have the experience under their wing. The Golden Gophers have been here before. The Rebels and Warriors are new to the dance and look to make a big impression.
The winner moves on to the finals to face Combs and one other player TBD on Wednesday. The others will be going home with $10,000 themselves.
One spot down and two to go. Who will join Indiana in the finals? The Tournament continues.