Ohio State vs. Kansas: Breaking Down the Best Final Four Matchup

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2012

LAWRENCE, KS - DECEMBER 10:  Amir Williams #23 and Lenzelle Smith, Jr. of the Ohio State Buckeyes walk back upcourt after a timeout during the game against the Kansas Jayhawks on December 10, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The 2012 Final Four is set, and it's easy to see that the Kansas Jayhawks and Ohio State Buckeyes will be the best and most exciting game this coming weekend. 

Kentucky vs. Louisville is the other Final Four matchup, and it won't be anywhere close to the craziness that comes from Ohio State vs. Kansas. 

The Wildcats are rolling right now, and while the Cardinals have great confidence, Kentucky will bring them down with ease much like its done to all its opponents during the NCAA Tournament. 

Both Final Four games took place earlier in the season, with the Jayhawks beating the Buckeyes on Dec. 10 and the Wildcats beating the Cardinals on Dec. 31. 

It will be interesting to see if we get the same results, but it's not secret all four teams have changed a lot since late 2011. 

Ohio State vs. Kansas is a much better matchup, and this weekend it will give college basketball fans a game for the ages. 

That being said, let's dig into some specifics about the best Final Four matchup. 


When: Saturday, March 31 at 8:49 p.m. ET 

Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La.

Watch: CBS 


What's At Stake? 

The winner gets to stick around town and head to the National Championship game. The loser will go home empty-handed, sulking and dreaming of what could have been. 

It's going to be a great game because the pressure is so high. Neither team wants to fail, which means they'll be giving it their all. 

The stakes are high, and because of that, this is a game you do not want to miss. 


Ohio State Player to Watch 

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 24:  Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after defeating the Syracuse Orange during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball East Regional Final at TD Garden on March 24, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/G
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Jared Sullinger did not play the first time the Buckeyes met up against the Jayhawks this season. Kansas won 78-67, but had Ohio State had Sullinger who knows what the outcome would have looked like. 

Thankfully we'll get to see that now, and you better believe Sullinger will be highly motivated to terrorize the Jayhawks. Of course, that won't be easy. 

However, there is no denying that Sullinger is a dynamic force, which is why all eyes need to be on him this Saturday. He's capable of a monster performance, and this is certainly a time when his team needs him to produce one. 


Kansas Player to Watch 

ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 23:  :  Thomas Robinson #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks looks on against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Midwest Regional Semifinal at Edward Jones Dome on March 23, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Ph
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

While Tyshawn Taylor is an electrifying player for the Jayhawks, the Kansas player to watch in this Final Four matchup is Thomas Robinson. 

The junior forward leads the team in scoring and rebounding, and he's going to put the team on his back this weekend. Robinson is hoping to carry them to a championship, and he knows that in order to accomplish that, he'll have to first dominate on Saturday. 

Robinson tore up the Buckeyes back in December, but with Sullinger on the court, it will be much more intriguing to watch how the game plays out. Matching up against Sullinger is exactly the reason Robinson is the Kansas player that all eyes should be on. 


Key Matchup 

The post game is very crucial for both teams in this game, and whichever team wins the battle down low is much more likely to advance to the title game. 

While the perimeter shooting is important, working the inside game is vital, as it is what both teams are really good at. 

Watch out for the matchups down low, simply because a dominating performance there will lead to great things. 



Expect one heck of a game, as both the Jayhawks and the Buckeyes matchup really well against each other. 

In the end, though, I have Kansas narrowly edging out Ohio State in the closing minutes of the game. A buzzer-beater is possible, but the way this March Madness has gone down, I don't see it happening. 

It will be an intense battle all game long, but the Jayhawks will hit clutch shots in the final minutes to take the lead, then seal the deal by knocking down their free-throws to get the win. 

Kansas 80, Ohio State 76 



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