CBS & Turner preview the NCAA Tournament

From CBS Sports / Turner Sports –

Notes from tonight’s Turner Sports and CBS Sports Selection Sunday Conference Call

Participants:  Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller, Turner Sports analysts; Clark Kellogg and Bill Raftery, CBS Sports analysts

Kellogg on Kentucky’s ‘Road to the Final Four’ through the South Region: “I certainly think there is some pretty good Final Four and championship royalty there when you consider Duke is in that particular region. Kentucky has been the No.1 team for most of the season by a decent amount compared to other teams. I don’t see it [the South Region] being a real ‘resistant’ region. UConn has struggled a bit. Baylor is extremely talented and Duke has played at a pretty good level for most of the year. Kentucky is still clearly the favorite there.”

Miller on the Big Ten and teams from that conference having a chance to win it all: “The way they beat up one another in the regular season and championship series, every team is physical, every team likes to bang, every team likes to hold. This year will be different because they do have the best conference and they have a lot of the best players. I have some of the teams from the Big Ten going pretty far in the tournament just for the fact that each and every night they are well coached and well prepared and in every game because of that.”

Kerr on the Big Ten and teams from that conference having a chance to win it all: “Big Ten teams are most used to the physical play. The problem is you have officiating crews from all over the country and you don’t know what you’re going to get in the tournament. So, you really have to adapt. It will be very interesting…if teams like Michigan State and Ohio State get a different crew that calls more fouls, to see how they react to that.”

Kellogg on what Big Ten team is likely to go the deepest in the tournament: “Michigan State offers the best chance to go the deepest from the Big Ten. They have versatility at both ends of the floor. They execute pretty well in the half court. They rebound the ball fairly well. They’ve got the best chance to advance the farthest. Looking at Ohio State, when [Jared] Sullinger is a factor, he’s such a key to what Ohio State does. Wisconsin is an interesting team. To me, Vanderbilt is the sleeper team in that quadrant.”

Kellogg on Florida’s seeding: “Clearly if you stumble late it can have an impact on your seeding as much as you can move forward when you get on a roll late. If you look at it just from a pure numbers standpoint…seven [seed] was probably right in my mind.”

Raftery on Mississippi State not making the tournament and why they fell short: “They just never got it going. It’s one of those teams that never got on a roll. We thought they could do better but they never did.”

Kerr on Mississippi State: “Mississippi State was very impressive early. They just collapsed late. I don’t think it helps when you lose six out of your last eight. You have to, at some level, take some momentum going into the tournament…and they just looked like they were heading south.”

Kellogg on the No. 7/10 game – Gonzaga vs. West Virginia – in the East Region on the possibility of facing Ohio State in the next game: “That’s a real intriguing matchup. In West Virginia and Gonzaga, you have that potential along the front line [to negate the play of Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger]. Either one of those teams would be a real stiff test for Ohio State.”

Kellogg on Louisville’s first round opponent Davidson: “That is a good team [Davidson]. They are well coached. They will be well prepared. One of the things they do that can equalize or negate whatever disadvantages they may have in overall team speed or size, is their ability to space the floor and shoot the basketball. They do that as well as any team in the country year in and year out.”

Kerr on how Louisville matches up with Davidson: “They run their stuff [offense] beautifully. Any time you get a team like that, that executes and takes care of the ball, and shoots threes, you’ve got your hands full. That’s the challenge for Louisville. Louisville has to have a ton of confidence right now coming off the BIG EAST tournament.”

Kellogg on Louisville’s Peyton Siva and his play in the BIG EAST tournament: “He is outstanding [in getting into the lane]. When he takes perimeter shots, he’s much better right now off the catch. He does a really good job of keeping pressure on the opposing team defensively, too. I like the chemistry of this team [Louisville] and the fact that they stay together and fight you. They’ve gotten better and a lot of it has to do with the play of Siva.”

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