The most important of all varsity matchesITV Studios/BBC

In a revenge attack from Saturday's Boat Race losses, Gonville and Caius have beaten Magdalen College, Oxford, in final of the 44th series of University Challenge by 255 points to 105, the college's first victory in the long-running TV quiz.

The team consisted of captain Anthony Martinelli, a sixth-year medic, fourth-year chemist Jeremy Warner, third-year PhD historian Michael Taylor and second-year lawyer Ted Loveday.

The final of the national quiz show, hosted by Jeremy Paxman, saw a stellar performance from the Caius team and Ted Loveday in particular, who answered eleven starter questions correctly.

Caius took an early lead in the night, leading 90 to 45 by the first third, though Magdalen pulled back to draw level with 90 points apiece by half time, Caius briefly coming unstuck with a series of bonus questions on internet pioneers.

Caius quickly regained momentum, however, storming towards victory with their knowledge of Kyrgyzstan, Simone de Beauvoir and Ancient Greek. Magdalen were only able to answer one starter question correctly in the second half.

The Caius team were presented with the winners' trophy by novelist and Exeter College, Oxford alumnus Will Self, who commended them for their wide range of knowledge and calmness under pressure.

Cambridge's other four college teams this series, which has been broadcast from July, were Trinity, Corpus Christi, Selwyn and Pembroke, but it was Caius who went all the way to victory.

Caius beat St Anne's College, Oxford, Manchester and Durham (twice) in their run to the final. 

They recorded the highest score of any team in the whole series in their opening round match against St Anne's, scoring an impressive 305 points, dubbed "a terrific score" by host Paxman, until Magdalen trounced Cambridge's team from Trinity 315 points to 55 in the semi-finals. 

In the second round, Caius beat the team from Manchester University, 2012 and 2013's winners, 200 points to 135. Manchester were the first back-to-back winners on the series since Madgalen, Caius' opponents tonight, claimed victory successively in 1997 and 1998. 

Caius then recorded a comfortable victory over the Durham team in their first quarter-final match, winning 275 to 95.

As a taste of their ultimate victory, Caius beat Magdalen 215 to 155 in their second quarter final, before beating Durham 170 to 75 in last week's semi-final.

Tonight's contest was in fact a repeat of the 2004 final, which saw Magdalen beat Caius 190 to 160. Magdalen College and the University of Manchester have won the competition more times than any other institution, with four wins each.

This is the first time Cambridge have won the series consecutively since the quiz was revived for the BBC in 1994, after Trinity overcame Oxford's Sommerville College to win last year's title. Cambridge have not won a back-to-back victory on the quiz for over forty years, when Fitzwilliam and Trinity achieved the feat in 1973 and 1974. 

Ted Loveday has spawned a large social media during the series. His name has trended on Twitter during previous broadcasts of the show, and tonight's broadcast saw a further resurgence in use of the #Loveday hashtag after his strong performance with the starter questions, with one Twitter user proclaiming him "man of the match", another branding him a "cult hero" and another stating simply: "Ted is king."

He has also appeared on the 'Cuties of University Challenge' Tumblr, cementing his (and his hair's) status as this series' breakout star.

Speaking to Caius' PR Officer following their first round victory, team member Michael Taylor said that watching themselves on the TV was "surreal" and that he "cannot remember much of the actual filming" due to the pressure in the studio, but that the whole team "were all delighted to do the College proud".

@tag_freeman

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