Vol. 58, No. 1 • December 2020 • .pdf version
Seth Davis: Priorities: Mentorship, women's game, staying safe
Malcolm Moran: To many, Jernstedt was the 'Architect of March Madness'
Advice and encouragement in a strange season
Norlander, Quinn dominate Best Writing Contest
CoSIDA, USBWA offer COVID guidelines
Join the USBWA or renew your membership

Norlander, Quinn dominate Best Writing Contest

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Matt Norlander of CBSSports.com and Brendan Quinn of The Athletic each won one category and placed in three others in the USBWA's annual Best Writing Contest.

More from the USBWA:
2020 Best Writing Contest winners
NEW! USBWA Mentors Program
Give to the Chris Dufrense Memorial Sports Journalism Scholarship at Cal State Fullerton
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Norlander won for his column following Duke's 98-96 overtime victory over North Carolina that he wrote couldn't be measured.

"The variables are too ridiculous. The probabilities too unearthly. The coincidences, well, maybe there can't be any when it comes to these two."

Quinn won in game writing for his story about Cassius Winston's decision to play the day after his brother Zachary was killed in a train accident.

Other winners were Brian Bennett of The Athletic for medium-length features, Mirin Fader of Bleacher Report in magazine-length features and John Akers of Basketball Times for Enterprise/Investigative reporting.

Bennett's story explored the aftermath of a 200-146 victory by Division III Greenville, Ill., over Fontbonne.

Fader's winning entry explored the short life of the late Gigi Bryant.

Akers' wining enterprise story explored the life of the late Dick DeVenzio, whose began battling the NCAA in 1985.

John Feinstein of the Washington Post was also a multiple place-winner, with a pair of second-place finishes.

1. Matt Norlander, CBSSports.com: Duke slips past North Carolina with two buzzer-beaters in a flawed classic.
2. John Feinstein, The Washington Post: Better late than never? Former Indiana coach Bob Knight returns to Assembly Hall.
3. Matt Fortuna, The Athletic: Why didn’t they cancel college sports sooner? What was there to think about, really?
4. Brendan Quinn, The Athletic: Why did John Beilein fail in the NBA after he jumped from Michigan?
5. Russell Steinberg, Mid-Major Madness: A personal account of losing your job and college basketball at the same time.

1. Brendan Quinn, The Athletic: An intense picture: Cassius Winston plays the day after his brother is killed in a train accident.
2. John Feinstein, The Washington Post: A tribute/obituary of the remarkable life of Morgan Wooten
3. C.J. Moore, The Athletic: Baylor coach Scott Drew comes up with a signature win at Kansas.
4. Matt Norlander, CBSSports.com: Kansas avenges loss to Baylor. Udoka Azubuike is the reason why.
5. Mitchell Northam, High Post Hoops: Kyra Lambert made a beyond-half-court shot on her first shot after returning from three knee surgeries and nearly three years on the sidelines for Duke

1. John Akers, Basketball Times: A look at Dick DeVenzio, who started the discusson of paying college athletes with his 1985 book "Rip-Off U" Now, the NCAA has handed the issue to a committee. Will it matter?
2. Matt Norlander, CBSSports: A timetable of COVID-19 shutting down college basketball.
3. Tom Noie, South Bend Tribune: Lunch with DeMatha’s legendary Morgan Wooten.
4. Craig Meyer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: NCAA basketball lags behind in black head coaches. A look at the numbers and stories.
5. Seth Davis, The Athletic: The men behind the history of Gonzaga underline how a contender was built and maintained.

1. Brian Bennett, The Athletic: A look at the "Holy Grail" (a college team scoring 200 points in a 40-minute game.) Is it a feat? Is it a slap to the face of sportsmanship? Both?
2. Kevin Armstrong, SI.com: COVID-19 puts a halt to playground basketball; a New York tradition is shuttered by the pandemic.
3. Brendan Quinn, The Athletic: High School players building their ever more important “brand.” Joe Tipton, a junior at Alabama Huntsville, is a pivot point in the social media world of "edits."
4. Matt Norlander, CBSSports.com: Kobe Bryant’s relationship with UC Irvine, a campus near his home.
5. Jeff Greer The Athletic: Rob Butsch has died. For two years, Butsch was Louisville’s "Flying Cardinal Bird" who swung from the arena’s rafters – part of what makes sports a great connector.

1. Mirin Fader, Bleacher Report: An in-depth look at Gigi Bryant, who died along with her father Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash in California. An impressive look at young girls and basketball.
2. Brendan Quinn, The Athletic: Telling details are what makes this piece strong. Friends laughing at young Juwan Howard. Years later, a ball left on Juwan Howard court, waiting for the next kid who wants to play.
3. Mike DeCourcy, The Sporting News: How NCAA tournament expansion 35 years ago became the foundation of a sports showcase.
4. Ryan McGee, ESPN.com: Rex Chapman (Kentucky/Charlotte Hornets gets used to new role as a social media influencer.
5. Dan Greene, Sports Illustrated: Chris Beard is the architect behind Texas Tech emerging as a basketball power.

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