Wolfson College vs Oxford in University Challenge final

Monkman takes to the stage for the final time

It’s Erik Monkman vs. whoever the captain of the Oxford team is (nobody cares – we’re all here for Monkman).

After Wolfson defeated Emma in the tense semi-final two weeks ago, they are set to face up against Balliol College, Oxford in the final on Monday. This makes the 4th final in a row featuring a Cambridge vs Oxford stand off, and hopefully will also be Cambridge’s 4th win in a row. The two colleges previously battled it out in a second round match back in January, with Wolfson taking the win with a 30 point lead.

This time, again, victory seems inevitable with the indefatigable Erik Monkman captaining the Cambridge team. In the semi-final two weeks ago, Monkman was responsible for 120 of his team’s 170 points, including nearly half of all the 10 point starter questions. Since this last appearance, the #Monkmania has only increased, leading to the Telegraph dedicating an entire article to Monkman memes.

Most memes were in admiration of his distinctive answering style and his fearsome intellect, including one man who wrote “I think I love him more than I love my own children”. One Etsy user even produced some appropriately intense and borderline terrifying T-shirts to sell in celebration of the final.

Despite this universal acclaim, Monkman, like his namesake, remains humble. He even went so far as to say, in an interview with the Telegraph, that he doesn’t think that the various proclamations of love for him made on social media are entirely serious.

How can someone be so intelligent yet so wrong?

His opponent, Joey Goldman, the captain of the Balliol team, also made waves on Twitter when, in a second round match against Robinson College, Cambridge, he ‘threw sass’ at the the host, Jeremy Paxman. After giving an incorrect answer (which happened frequently) he would sarcastically hit back at Paxman with brilliant quips like “Whatever” or “Well I might as well say something”. Genius.

However, the number of memes about Goldman, the captain of Balliol, cannot come close to the heights to that Monkmania has inspired. This, along with our consistently higher rankings on league tables (the ones that matter, anyway), can only mean certain victory for the Cambridge team.

The final will be broadcast on BBC 1 at 8pm on tonight. Follow along with the Tab’s Liveblog from 7:50pm.

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