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CBS crew has many fond Indianapolis Final Four memories

CBS’ Clark Kellogg has had a entrance row seat for Indianapolis’ metamorphosis from sleepy Midwest metropolis to a thriving professional city that additionally serves because the NCAA‘s dwelling.

Kellogg was drafted by the Indiana Pacers with the eighth total decide in 1983, when Indianapolis was nonetheless known as “Naptown.” But that was earlier than the town was capable of lure the Colts from Baltimore, in addition to attracting many beginner occasions. The crowning jewel was getting the NCAA to maneuver its headquarters from Kansas City in 1999.

“There are a number of key folks that saw sports as a way to drive economic development and to enhance the city. I mean the Indiana Sports Corporation is the forerunner for the sports commissions you see across the country now,” Kellogg mentioned. “That was an amazing period of growth based on the vision and leadership of some key people.”

Indianapolis had already hosted three Final Fours earlier than it grew to become the NCAA‘s dwelling base, however the contract assured the town could be part of the common rotation.

This is Indianapolis’ eighth Final Four and seventh that will probably be broadcast by CBS. This would be the sixth that Kellogg has labored, both as an analyst courtside or as a part of the pregame crew.

Kellogg’s finest reminiscence although was being the courtside analyst in 2010, when Duke held off Butler’s Cinderella bid within the championship sport.

“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 mentioned. “We hardly ever have a hometown group within the Final Four within the dwelling metropolis and so I’m positive being in Indiana simply amplified the extent.

“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 it’s hard to forget.”

Jim Nantz is doing his thirtieth Final Four. His first was within the outdated RCA Dome in 1991, when Duke upset undefeated UNLV within the semifinals after which Kanas within the ultimate. He additionally counts 2010 as his favourite reminiscence.

Nantz mentioned he drove across the Butler campus the day of the sport after which was capable of finding an open door at Hinkle Fieldhouse in order that he may go in and have a look.

“You could just feel there was something magical happening with that team throughout the ride to the championship game. If Hayward’s shot would have dropped, it would have been the greatest finish not only in tournament history but maybe in any sports championship history,” he mentioned.

Grant Hill was on the 1991 Duke group that gave Mike Krzyzewski his first of 5 NCAA championships. His first Final Four as a CBS analyst was in 2015, when his alma mater beat Wisconsin in the championship game. It was also the last time Indianapolis hosted, until this year.

“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. “A lot of great memories from different segments in my basketball life.”

Bill Raftery and Tracy Wolfson have fond memories from Arizona’s title run in 1997. Raftery was the radio analyst when the Wildcats denied Kentucky’s bid for repeat titles with an overtime victory.

Raftery was close friends with Arizona coach Lute Olson and remembered the players messing Olson’s perfectly combed gray hair.

Wolfson was a senior at the University of Michigan, but was a production assistant throughout the tournament. During the championship game, she was near the Arizona band, telling them when they could play and when the network was going into and out of commercials.

However, Wolfson’s affinity for Arizona went a bit too far after they won.

“I took to this Arizona team. I just I found them fun,” she said. “As soon as the game ended I remember actually 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 definitely a special one, and it’s fun to really come full circle now.”

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/College-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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