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Mayim Bialik says ‘Jeopardy! National College Championship’ is “like March Madness”

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Jeopardy! Productions

Who are the smartest college students in the country? A new primetime Jeopardy! event aims to answer that question. 

Jeopardy! National College Championship starts tonight, and host Mayim Bialik tells ABC Audio, “It’s kind of a March Madness of the best kind. But obviously, there’s three contestants per game, not two. And we start with 36 and we get down to three.”

And, just like March Madness, the students are from colleges all over the country. 

“Ivy Leagues, public colleges, small colleges, historically black colleges,” Bialik shares. “Just colleges from places, you’re like, ‘Where is that? I don’t even know where that is.'”  

Although the students are all staggeringly smart, that’s not necessarily enough to take home a win. Bialik notes that other factors like timing, nerves and focus also play a part. 

For those who tuned in to the Professors tournament, Bialik shares that this college primetime special won’t feel that same “because this generation is so collaborative.”

“They were so friendly with each other, it felt really different. It felt more like they were on the same team,” she says.” Whereas the professors felt like, you know, grown up professors competing against each other.”

Bialik adds, “A lot of the categories are really, really fun in the college tournament. There is a lot more laughter than with the adult contestants I think.”

Not only is it more fun, she says that the students may have a slight edge when it comes to “certain aspects” of the game show due to having an “easier command of technology.”

Bialik has served as the interim host of the syndicated Jeopardy! show, alongside Ken Jennings, but when it comes to the search for a permanent replacement for Alex Trebek, she doesn’t have much news to share. 

“I got nothing new,” she says. 

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