With the Ohio State Buckeyes drawing the No. 2 seed in the 2012 NCAA tournament, Jared Sullinger and the rest of the basketball warriors prepare for a run at a National Title.
The biggest factor cited by most experts not picking the Buckeyes to win the championship has been the team’s inconsistency at both ends of the court. If Ohio State can shore up their fundamental play on both offensive and defensive, they will be dangerous.
ESPN College Basketball Analyst Jay Bilas
Prediction: No. 1 Syracuse over No. 2 Ohio State in Elite Eight
Analysis: "The Orange's zone and ability to force turnovers will carry Jim Boeheim to his fourth Final Four, and third in New Orleans."
Our Take: While many people complain that Bilas went very conservative by picking most No. 1 seeds and favorites, this looks to be the year to play it that way. As much as I and everyone would like to see an upset, Syracuse and Ohio State are the two best teams in East and will more than likely meet up to settle a Final Four appearance.
Bracketologist Joe Lunardi
Prediction: Lunardi’s Rank and Odds: Third (10.3 percent)
Analysis: "The Buckeyes are a bit of a mystery entering NCAA play. They can be great, but we rarely see it. And they could have the top player on the floor in Jared Sullinger, but we rarely see that. I like Ohio State's draw and chance to get hot for a few rounds, but see an all-Big Ten regional final against Wisconsin and an unfulfilling end to OSU's season."
Our Take: Everyone has been talking about inconsistency from the Buckeyes since the beginning of the season, but there is no worse place to start a drought than the NCAA tourney. If Ohio State loses their shooting edge for any length during the tournament, they will be gone.
CBS Sports insider Gregg Doyel
Prediction: Vanderbilt over Ohio State in the Elite Eight
Analysis: "The biggest shocker in my bracket, I suppose, is Vanderbilt in the Final Four. The Commodores underachieved this season before winning the SEC title, but this team was a worthy SEC titlist and would be a worthy Final Four contestant."
Our Take: I couldn’t disagree more with this. While I do believe that Syracuse has a chance to be upset by Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt would be dismantled by a tough, physical Ohio State team. While Syracuse will try to shoot against Vanderbilt, Ohio State will get physical and dominate the court.
College Basketball Sensation Dick Vitale
Prediction: Florida State over Ohio State in the Sweet 16
Analysis: "Love what Leonard Hamilton has done with this team and its added confidence."
Our Take: If we know anything, it’s that Dick Vitale knows college basketball, baby! He proves it again by agreeing with my prediction wholeheartedly. Florida State is on fire and Ohio State will just not have enough to stop them.
The consensus opinion is that Ohio State has the talent to win a National Championship this season, but they lack the consistency needed to make that run. The Buckeyes can beat any team on any given day, but playing on a consistent level is just something they haven’t been able to master.
Check back for more on the NCAA Basketball as it comes, and check out Bleacher Report’s College Basketball Page to get your fill of college basketball.
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