Baylor Students Compete in ESPN’s New Quiz Show ‘Bracket Genius’

March 21, 2017

Seniors Kat Largent, Daniel Notman and Trevor Taylor represent Baylor in the academic side of March Madness

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WACO, Texas (March 21, 2017) – As Baylor basketball fans cheered both the Bears and Lady Bears into the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Basketball Championships, another Baylor team will represent the University on the classroom side of the tournament.

Call it academic March Madness, as a team of Baylor University seniors is matching up against other Sweet 16 universities competing in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament this week in ESPN’s new quiz show, “Bracket Genius -->,” which debuts Wednesday, March 22, at 4 p.m. CT on ESPN2.

The Baylor team of senior Baylor Business Fellow Kat Largent of Spring; senior University Scholar Daniel Notman of Miami, Florida; and senior secondary education major Trevor Taylor of San Antonio, will square off against a team from South Carolina in the show’s second episode that airs at 4:30 p.m. CT Wednesday.

Hosted by Baylor grad Trey Wingo, B.A. ’85, “Bracket Genius” pits university academic teams, consisting of three undergraduate students, against one another in a bracket-style competition for the chance to have their team crowned the inaugural “Bracket Genius” Champion and share the grand prize of $100,000.

The final 16 universities represented on the hardwood will match up in the same head-to-head games on “Bracket Genius,” where the winner advances by answering questions spanning history, geography, politics, literature, science, pop culture, the arts and sports in a race to score as many points as possible against the clock and their opponent. Each half-hour episode will feature four teams vying for the chance to advance to the Bracket Genius Championship episode.

Largent, Notman and Taylor were among students nominated by university academic units to compete in the program. ESPN producers selected the team members after putting them to the test via a Google hangout audition, where, among other things, they answered trivia questions against the clock. Largent and Notman already knew each other, having met at Baylor Line Camp their freshman year. They quickly bonded with Taylor, who is an Advanced Placement English 4 and Pre-AP English 1 student teaching intern at Midway High School, and headed off to Chicago early Monday to begin the competition.

“Every March, college basketball fans are entertained by the athletic genius displayed by their favorite players on the game’s biggest stage,” said Intersport’s Executive Producer John Paquet. “The ‘Bracket Genius’ platform captures that excitement and provides fans yet another reason to cheer for their favorite college or university while celebrating academics and championing the everyday college student.”

Wingo’s unique combination of wit and humor and his experience hosting a diverse array of marquee ESPN programming, including SportsCenter, NFL Live, NCAA Women’s Final Four, Baseball Tonight, NBA 2Night and the NFL Draft made him a perfect fit to host “Bracket Genius.”

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

Bonus round episodes will air at 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. CT Monday, March 27. These half-hour episodes, “Bracket Genius: Extra Credit,” will give the four Championship contenders a chance to win extra cash prizes of up to $25,000 per episode.

The remaining four teams will face off in the “Bracket Genius” Championship episode scheduled to air at 6 p.m. CT Tuesday, April 4. The one-hour finale will feature two semifinal matchups, with winners advancing to the final head-to-head battle to determine the winning team.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.