Kellogg: Loyola Can Win The National Championship

"That's real," Kellogg said. "Loyola has the firepower to get it done"

Taz and the Moose
March 29, 2018 - 11:28 am

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Loyola-Chicago has been the story of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The No. 11 Ramblers won three games by four points – surviving No. 6 Miami, No. 3 Tennessee, and No. 7 Nevada – before blowing out No. 9 Kansas State, 78-62, in the South regional final.

And just like that, the Ramblers (32-5) are back in the Final Four for the first time since 1963.

They might not be done, either.

“Oh, yeah,” CBS Sports college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg said on Taz & The Moose, when asked if Loyola could win the national championship. “Hey, any of these teams can win it. That’s real. That’s not coach-speak. That’s not analyst-speak. Loyola is capable. I think they can beat Michigan. I think Loyola has the firepower and the wherewithal to get it done.”

Loyola has had a different hero in each game of the tournament. First it was Donte Ingram’s game-winning three against Miami, then it was Clayton Custer’s game-winning jumper against Tennessee, then it was Marques Townes’ clutch three against Nevada, and then it was Ben Richardson’s six threes against K-State.

Kellogg believes that Loyola vs. No. 3 Michigan (32-7), which tips off Saturday at 6:09 p.m. ET., is a straight-up pick-em.

Many people would say the same about No. 1 Villanova (34-4) versus No. 1 Kansas (31-7). Both Jay Wright and Bill Self have led their programs since 2001 and 2003, respectively, and have both won national championships. A second title for either would be impressive, especially for Wright, who could win two titles in three years.

“He’s got a great legacy and resume already, but the more you can put titles on top of anything, the more it adds to it,” Kellogg said. “His legacy doesn’t need any enhancement, but it would move him into special territory. There aren’t a lot of coaches that, one, have had the tenure that he’s had at the same place, and two, have had multiple championship teams.”

But first things first: two more wins to go – for all of these teams.

“We’ve got four terrific teams that are evenly matched, in my mind,” Kellogg said. “Not a lot to separate these teams from one another."