Hall of Fame Tip-Off 2012: Ohio State Will Roll to Tournament Title

Chris HummerAnalyst INovember 17, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31:  Deshaun Thomas #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts in the first half while taking on the Kansas Jayhawks during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 31, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The 2012 Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament has reached its final stage, and a number of quality teams have competed to start their seasons off right.

However, it will be a talented Ohio State squad that rolls to the title.

The Buckeyes are by far and away the most talented team in the bracket, as they enter the season as the No. 4 team in the country. Five of the seven teams in the Hall of Fame tip-off come from non-big six conferences, and the other two—Washington and Seton Hall—are both unranked.

Ohio State has already won its first two tournament games by a combined 33 points, and its finals matchup against Washington shouldn't prove to be much more of a challenge.  

The No. 4 team in the land is stout defensively. The Buckeyes are led by the best defensive guard in America, Aaron Craft, a baby-faced assassin, who is just relentless without the ball in his hands. Add that drive to his quick feet and hands, and he can shutdown anyone in the country.

Couple Craft with a large and active frontcourt group, and the Buckeyes will be difficult to score on all year.

However, it's the play of power forward Deshaun Thomas that will make Ohio State unstoppable in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off. Thomas is small for his position at 6'7", but he plays much bigger than his height. He has a wide array of post moves down low, and a feathery touch from the outside.

Thomas averaged 21.8 points a game during Ohio State's run to the Final Four last year, until he was stiffed in their matchup with Kansas. But, he’s more experienced and motivated this season.

Ohio State has the depth and the size to dominate Washington in their finals matchup, and unless a streaky Washington squad has a good shooting night, expect it to be a blowout.