The Kansas Jayhawks and Ohio State Buckeyes are two of the four teams left in the NCAA Tournament and they'll have their second meeting of the season in New Orleans. The Jayhawks will be hoping for a repeat of a 78-67 victory in Kansas, while the Buckeyes will be hoping that Jared Sullinger's presence will help them earn revenge for their first loss of the season.
Kansas earned its win in the first matchup of the two squads thanks to Thomas Robinson's scoring and Tyshawn Taylor's distribution. Robinson, an athletic multipurpose forward, had 21 points and seven rebounds in the game, and Taylor dished out a career-high 13 assists, helping offset his seven turnovers. But Robinson may be even more crucial as a scorer to match Sullinger in the second go-round, and Taylor will have to deal with the harrying of Buckeyes ballhawk Aaron Craft. Jeff Withey, a premier shot-blocker, should help Kansas contain Sullinger, but the Jayhawks will be hard-pressed to replicate their defensive brilliance from their Elite Eight win over North Carolina, in which they limited the Tar Heels to 20 second-half points.
Sullinger and Craft form the core of an Ohio State team that has played some of its best ball in the NCAA Tournament, but neither will likely be the team's key player on offense, despite Sullinger seemingly hitting his stride with three straight outings of better than 50 percent shooting from the field. That player would be Deshaun Thomas, recently one of the nation's most explosive scorers; he has been held to single digits just twice since 2011 became 2012 and has averaged almost 22 points and more than eight rebounds per game in the NCAA Tournament. If Thomas can't prop up the Buckeyes, Ohio State will have to hope William Buford can pull out of his slump. The senior guard hasn't made more than five shots in a game since a win over Michigan State in early March and is just 13-of-44 in the NCAA Tournament.
This will be the first-ever meeting between the Buckeyes and Jayhawks in the NCAA Tournament.
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