CBS’ Clark Kellogg has had a front-row seat for Indianapolis’ metamorphosis from a sleepy Midwest city to a thrivingthat also serves as the NCAA‘s home. The Indiana Pacers drafted Kellogg with the eighth overall pick in 1983 when Indianapolis was still called “Naptown.” But that was before the was able to lure the Colts from Baltimore and attract many amateur events. The crowning jewel got the NCAA to in 1999.
“Several key folks saw sports as a way to driveand enhance the city. “That was a fantastic period of growth based on the vision and leadership of some key people. I mean, the Indiana Sports Corporation is the forerunner for the sports commissions you see now,” Kellogg said. Indianapolis had already hosted three Final Fours before becoming the NCAA‘s base, but the contract guaranteed the city would be a part of the regular rotation.
This is Indianapolis’ eighth Final Four and the seventh that CBS will broadcast. This will be the sixth that Kellogg has worked as an analyst courtside or as part of the pregame crew. Kellogg’s best memory was being the courtside analyst in 2010 when Duke held off Butler’s Cinderella bid in the championship game.
“The electricity of Butler there, the theme of David versus Goliath, there was so much there that resonated on so many levels, but the excitement throughout the city was unlike any I’ve experienced,” he said. “We rarely have a hometown team in the Final Four in the home city, so I’m sure being in Indiana amplified the level.
“Plus, it was a dramatic game that came down to a last-second shot (Gordon Hayward’s miracle half-court shot nearly going in). You can’t make this stuff up, and when it happened,to forget.”
Jim Nantz is doing his 30th Final Four. His first was in the old RCA Dome in 1991, when Duke upset undefeated UNLV in the semifinals and Kanas in the final. He also counts 2010 as his favorite memory. Nantz said he drove around the Butler campus the day of the game and then found anat Hinkle Fieldhouse to go in and take a look.
“You could feel something magical happening with that. If Hayward’s shot had dropped, it would have been the greatest finish in tournament history and history,” he said.
Grant Hill was on the 1991 Duke team that gave Mike Krzyzewski his first of five NCAA championships. As a CBS analyst, his first Final Four was in 2015 when hisbeat Wisconsin in the championship game. It was also the last .
“Aside from the fact that I had a horrible haircut that I’m often reminded of when they replay moments from that year (in 1991), that was a special time,” Hill said. “Many great memories from different segments in my basketball life.” Bill Raftery and Tracy Wolfson have fond memories from Arizona’sin 1997. Raftery was the radio analyst when the Wildcats for repeat titles with an overtime victory.
Wolfson was a senior at the University of Michigan and a production assistant throughout the tournament. She was near the Arizona band during the championship, telling them when they could play and when the network was going into and out of commercials. Raftery was close friends with Arizona coach Lute Olson and remembered the players messing with Olson’s perfectly combed gray hair.
However, Wolfson’s affinity for Arizona went a bit too far after they won.
“I took to this Arizona team. I just found them fun,” she said. “As soon as the game ended, I remember running onto the court celebrating with them, and I think it was (producer) Bob Dekas screaming in my ear, ‘Get off the court, Tracy.’ It was a special one, and it’s fun to comenow.”
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