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William Bufford is essentially a role player at this point. He just happens to be a role player who plays about 38 minutes a night and is projected to be drafted in the early second round.
Bufford hasn’t been the same player since mid-January. Heck, he hasn’t been the same player all season long. Simply put, he’s a shooter who has lost his stroke. All season long, Bufford’s been in a state of premature Heat Check. Every time he makes a shot you start thinking, “OK, he’s back; he’s going to go off.” But then he never does.
Here’s what he’s shot in the tournament so far.
Against Syracuse: 3-12
Against Cincinnati: 1-8
Against Gonzaga: 4-13
Against Loyola: 5-11
Bufford is a key who I could see coming up big.
Wait, what am I saying? Bufford is not the key; everything the Buckeyes have done this year (and they’ve been a really good team) has been in spite of one of their best players.
He’s no longer allowed to be considered one of the best players. There isn’t one bone in my body telling me that Bufford will have a good game and come through big.
Then again, it is the Final Four, and he’s the only Buckeye senior. It seems like having senior leadership/experience is a huge advantage at this stage of the tournament.
Look, if by some miracle Bufford were to turn it on, then Ohio State could potentially run away against Kansas.
That's really what the tournament comes down to...which team has the player that can randomly get hot.