No. 2 seeds Kansas and Ohio State will be facing off for the right to take on either Kentucky or Louisville in the 2012 NCAA tournament championship this weekend, but that isn’t all that is on the line for many of the young men participating.
There are quite a few kids who are hoping to be selected in the 2012 NBA draft and are looking to improve their stock by putting on a heck of a show for fans and, more importantly, scouts and general managers.
Let’s take a look at some of the players with a lot to gain, and a lot to lose, in their Saturday night showdown.
Sullinger could have been a top pick in the 2011 draft but elected to remain in school to pursue a championship with the Buckeyes.
He’s right on the cusp of doing so, but has to make sure he plays well to avoid losing attention and to ensure he goes inside the first 10 picks this summer.
The PF played poorly in the first game against Loyola in this tournament, but has stepped up and delivered big points, solid rebounds and played good defense since.
The Wildcats junior is widely regarded as the top college player in the nation and for good reason.
He’s averaging 17.9 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.9 blocks per contest and could go as high as No. 2 overall in the draft.
However, should Robinson put up a stinker against the Buckeyes in the Final Four, it will certainly hurt his status and cost him millions of dollars.
If Thomas plays well, it will solidify his spot at the very top of the class.
This senior point guard still has a lot to prove if he wants to land on an NBA team.
Despite averaging 17.3 points, 4.8 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game, the 6’3” guard isn’t widely regarded as a pro prospect.
His turnovers are extremely costly and many doubt that he will be able to run a professional offense.
If he can light it up against Ohio State, he may change some minds.