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USC team nearly wins it all in Capital One College Bowl championship

After five rounds and 10 weeks of competition, Brendan Glascock, Karan Menon and Ann Nguyen finished second to the trio from Columbia University in Tuesday night’s final showdown.

USC College Bowl 2021 team
USC’s 2021 Capital One College Bowl team (Photo/Greg Gayne/NBC)

Of the starting 12 teams, only two remained. After five rounds and 10 weeks of competition, three USC students — Brendan Glascock, Karan Menon and Ann Nguyen — took on the trio from Columbia University in the Capital One College Bowl final.

Though the team came up short in Tuesday night’s championship round, they still made the Trojan Family proud.

Glascock, a sophomore majoring in computer science at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, plans to become a math or computer science teacher. The Dallas-Fort Worth area native is a member of Escape SC, the university’s “premiere escape room club,” as well as the Trojan Geocachers.

Menon, the team captain, is a USC Viterbi computer science major with a minor in cybersecurity and plans on working in artificial intelligence. The sophomore is the founder and president of USC’s Quiz Bowl team, as well as the co-founder of a nonprofit promoting geography awareness.

Nguyen, a junior, is a first-generation college student majoring in film and TV production at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. She plans on becoming a writer/director to tell stories that include diverse voices and Black, Indigenous and people of color representation.

The Capital One College Bowl is a reboot of the classic Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning College Bowl that previously aired on NBC. Hosted by Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning and his brother Cooper, the show comprises teams of three college students working together to answer questions on a wide variety of subjects and compete for academic scholarships.

Aside from USC and Columbia, other teams were the University of Alabama, Auburn University, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, the University of Mississippi, Morehouse College, the University of Tennessee, UCLA, the University of Virginia and Xavier University of Louisiana.

The road started for the USC trio in June, winning in the qualifiers to become one of the eight teams to advance to the quarterfinals. As a No. 4 seed, USC defeated crosstown rival UCLA 760-500 before taking down Alabama in the semifinals 860-540.

All competitors will receive tuition assistance for participating in the series. Members from the winning team take home an even bigger scholarship in addition to becoming the Capital One College Bowl champions.

USC’s last championship in a show of this type was in 1968 when the Trojans defeated Dartmouth College.


Watch previous episodes on NBC.com and the NBC app.

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USC team nearly wins it all in Capital One College Bowl championship

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