By Danny Cox
For almost 20 years, CBS Sports analyst Clark Kellogg has covered NCAA basketball and more importantly to most fans, the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Fans love to see the games and fill out brackets and try to figure out who will pull off a major upset or go home early after an unexpected defeat. If you’re going to ask anyone for advice, it should be Kellogg.
Kellogg took some time to speak on the NCAA Tourney, and he’s convinced that most teams are where they need to be and are deserving of their spots.
Which team were you surprised didn’t make it to the Field of 68?
Clark Kellogg: “My biggest surprise that didn’t make it is St. Bonaventure. I thought they had done more than enough to get into the field of 68, but the selection committee looked at everyone and gave other teams the nod.
Monmouth was also deserving, but losses to teams in the bottom 200 of the RPI rankings will put a big red flag on any team’s accomplishments. Yes, they were deserving, but those red flags separated them away from more deserving teams like the Bonnies, Vanderbilt, Michigan, and Tulsa.”
Are you shocked by the number one seed for the Oregon Ducks?
CK: “No, I’m not. We have to remember there are only four number one seeds and there is always a fifth or a sixth number one seed looking on from the outside. This year, Michigan State was that one. If a team is in a natural region with the numbers and performances to warrant a number one seed, then they should be.
A few years back…Washington played well enough to be a number one seed out West, and they more than deserved it. So do the Ducks.
The Kentucky Wildcats were the early season favorite. After some midseason struggles, has John Calipari gotten his squad together enough to win it all?
CK: “They clearly could win it all if the big guys up front – (Alex) Poythress, (Marcus) Lee, (Skal) Labissiere – play with strength and impact at both ends of the floor. The guards have been brilliant for Kentucky: Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray, Derek Willis. All of them have been playing very well.
With Kentucky though, the front court is the key. If those guys can get it going well and consistently, they can win it all.”
Is there a true Cinderella in the tournament that has a chance of making it to at least the Elite 8?
CK: “I don’t think so, but if I had to pick one, I’d say Gonzaga. Now, when I say ‘Cinderella,’ I’m talking about a double-digit seed team advancing. There aren’t many this year at all. Gonzaga…that is the one team I think, as a double-digit seed, that could get that far.”
Clark Kellogg is a studio analyst for CBS Sports and Turner Sports’ coverage of the NCAA Tournament.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.