NCAA Women's Basketball Final: Too Good to be True?

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You can hear the scriptwriters at work, plotting last night's NCAA basketball championship for women, which pitted University of Connecticut against Stanford:

"Lets have UConn fall behind early, though not hopelessly behind. Maybe they can't buy a basket for a couple of quarters. Score only 12 points before half-time."

"No-one would believe that! Connecticut, after all, has won 77 straight games, including five in this tournament by more than 40 points per game. They score 12 points quicker than most people run a fast break."

"Well, let's say Stanford is tough defensively, the Connecticut players are un-nerved by the occasion, and their shots are just a little bit off. Maya Moore, in particular, can't buy a basket, goes 0 for 8 in the first quarter or so."

"Okay, but let's let UConn's defense keep them in the game, holding Stanford to a stingy 20 points over two quarters."

"And in the second half we can turn Maya Moore loose, let Tina Charles begin hitting that in-deep hook, and take Jayne Appel, Stanford's All-American center, outside the lane, where Charles hits a 15-footer or two."

"Keep it close until the fourth quarter, when UConn zooms ahead by 15 points or so. Then give Stanford a faint chance to get back in the game, hitting threes in the final two minutes. But to no avail. UConn wins its 78th straight game and its second consecutive national championship."

"A good plan, but what do we do next year? Maya Moore is only a junior!"

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C. Michael Curtis has been an editor at The Atlantic since 1963. Under his direction, the magazine has won numerous fiction prizes, including the National Magazine Award for fiction. More

C. Michael Curtis"Writers crave the intelligence and ardor of this magazine's editors and readership as well as the privilege of inclusion in its pages," says best-selling author Louise Erdrich, who, like so many young fiction writers, was introduced to national readership and subsequent success in The Atlantic Monthly.

Under the direction of senior editor C. Michael Curtis, The Atlantic Monthly's fiction has been nominated for a National Magazine Award virtually every year; in 1988 The Atlantic won this prestigious prize. Year after year short stories from the magazine are chosen for inclusion in the important annual prize collections. Curtis himself was the editor of American Stories: Fiction From The Atlantic Monthly, which was published in 1990. A second volume came out the following year, and 1992 saw the publication of Contemporary New England Stories. A companion volume, Contemporary West Coast Stories, was published in the fall of 1993. A fifth collection, entitled God: Stories, was published in December, 1998, by Houghton Mifflin, and a companion anthology, Faith: Stories, was published in 2003, also by Houghton Mifflin. His own essays, articles, reviews, and poems have been published in The Atlantic, The New Republic, National Review, and Sport, among other periodicals. Curtis is also renowned for his teaching: he has taught creative writing, ethics, grammar, and other subjects for more than thirty years at Harvard, MIT, Cornell, Tufts, Boston University, Bennington, and elsewhere, and now teaches writing at Wofford College, in Spartanburg, SC, where he occupies the John C. Cobb Chair in the Humanities.

Curtis earned a B.A. in English from Cornell in 1956. He came to The Atlantic in 1963 after four years of study toward a Ph.D. in government, also at Cornell. Previously he had worked as a reporter for The Ithaca Journal, and as an editorial assistant at Newsweek. While he was a graduate student, The Atlantic Monthly published three of his poems and employed him briefly as a summer reader.

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