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Ohio State vs. Kansas Final Four Free Pick

March 27, 2012

OSU FTW

KANSAS vs. OHIO STATE

The Final Four will be played this weekend. Only four of 68 teams remain and any of those four could realistically walk away as the national champion. One great matchup will be when the Kansas Jayhawks take on the Ohio State Buckeyes. 

Ohio State arrived at the Final Four thanks to their seven point victory over the Syracuse Orange. Four players on the Buckeyes scored in double figures. Kansas played tough defense and only allowed North Carolina to score 20 points in the second half to beat the Tar Heels by 13. Five Jayhawks scored in double figures, led by Tyshawn Taylor’s 22.

Last December the two teams played with the Jayhawks winning by 11. However, Ohio State’s best player, Jared Sullinger did not play. He was sidelined due to a back injury. In that game, Kansas’ All American Thomas Robinson was the leading scorer with 21, while Taylor had 13 assists. Kansas shot 9 of 17 from three point land and 58% overall. Ohio State shot poorly on the night and turned over the ball 15 times.

With Sullinger now healthy, the rematch should be excellent. One of the most important matchups on both ends of the court will be Robinson and teammate Jeff Withey against Sullinger. The Jayhawks have the nation’s best defense against the two-point shot and Ohio State shoots over 53% from that range. Foul problems were issues for both Kansas and Ohio State in their respective Elite Eight matchups. Sullinger had to sit in the first half for the Buckeyes against Syracuse and Withey sat for stretches against North Carolina.

Kansas is prone to turnovers and if Ohio State can force a number of them, it could be detrimental to the Jayhawks. However, the inside game is where this matchup will be won or lost. Deshaun Thomas will be the key. Thomas can play the perimeter and that will stretch the inside defense of both Robinson and Withey. However, on defense Thomas could hurt his club, as he may not be able to control the play of either Robinson or Withey down low.

The line opened with Ohio State as a 2 ½-point favorite but is down to just 1 ½ points. The total is 136 1/2.

The game will be close the whole way. The key plays for both sides, Sullinger and Robinson will likely cancel each other out. However, Deshaun Thomas will be the key and his play on the offensive end will be the factor that helps Ohio State to the win.

Pick: Ohio State less the points Total: OVER

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Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 2012, final four, march madness

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