NCAA Tournament 2011: Can Anybody Stop Ohio State?

Perry SchwartzCorrespondent IIIMarch 25, 2011

CLEVELAND, OH - MARCH 20:  Aaron Craft #4, Jared Sullinger #0, Jon Diebler #33 and William Buford #44 of the Ohio State Buckeyes look on from the bench late in the second half against the George Mason Patriots during the third of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Quicken Loans Arena on March 20, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Things are looking up in Columbus these days, as the Ohio State Buckeyes are so high in the polls that you might think you are looking at college football rankings. Ohio State steamrolled through the regular season, the Big 10 conference tournament and the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament and is now just four games away from a title berth.  

The Buckeyes enjoyed one of their best regular seasons in school history, losing just two games and have a very reasonable path to the Final Four. They have been one of the most dominant team in the country this season, having only lost to Purdue and Wisconsin, both of whom were NCAA tournament worthy and they were rewarded with the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. 

Ohio State has continued their spectacular play thus far in the Big Dance, knocking off their first two opponents by 29 and 32 points, respectively.  

The story for Ohio State this season has been their offense, which ranks 19th in the nation in points scored, but more importantly, ranks second in field goal percentage. 

Rookie forward Jared Sullinger has done a fantastic job, leading the team with 17.1 points and ten boards a game, with some impressive 54.5 percent shooting. Meanwhile, guard William Buford has enjoyed another successful season for the Buckeyes, as he's currently averaging 14.6 points per game, including 44.6 percent shooting from behind the three-point line. 

Here we are in the Sweet 16 and there is no reason to believe that Ohio State won't continue their dominance from here on out. They will be heavy favorites against Kentucky on Friday, for a chance to go to the Elite 8 and the winner will go on to play the winner of Marquette-North Carolina.

Should the Buckeyes win the East Region, they will play the winner of Arizona-UConn in the Final Four game and would play either Florida, Butler, VCU, Florida State, Richmond, or Kansas in the title game, scheduled a week from Monday. 

Ohio State comes into Friday's game against Kentucky on a nine game winning streak, one game better than Kentucky's eight in a row. The winner of that game will likely be the favorite to come out of the Eastern bracket.