Final Four Predictions, Picks: Ohio State vs. Kansas 3/31/12

Last Updated: March 29th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Tons of NBA level talent and All-Americans are going to be on the court in the Bayou on Saturday night, and tonight, we are making our 2012 Final Four predictions by breaking down the Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Kansas Jayhawks betting lines.

2012 Final Four Matchup: #2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #2 Kansas Jayhawks
Final Four Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Final Four Date/Time: Saturday, March 31st, 8:45 p.m.
Ohio State vs. Kansas Television Coverage: CBS

Key #1: The bigs for the Buckeyes have to stay out of foul trouble
Deshaun Thomas and Jared Sullinger are really the heart and soul of the Buckeyes. They are the men that truly can dominate the game on both sides of the court, and when they are on, they are capable of some big time damage. They are averaging nearly 34 points and 15 boards per game between them, and they have to stay on the court. Sullinger battled foul problems at times this year, averaging right around three foul per game on average. We have seen him struggle against some decent big men that were right around his height, but this time around, he is going to have two big time post players in Jeff Withey and Thomas Robinson draped all over him on both sides of the court. The depth just isn’t there for this team if Sullinger is on the bench, as there isn’t a player that averaged even a dozen minutes per game for Head Coach Thad Matta this year outside of his starting five. It could be bad news if Sullinger gets two quick fouls, and if that turns out to be the case for the second straight game, OSU might not be all that lucky.

Final Four Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
Ohio State Buckeyes -2.5
Kansas Jayhawks +2.5
Click Here to Bet Your Final Four Picks!

Key #2: Tyshawn Taylor has to have a second straight star-like performance
When Taylor signed on the dotted line to come to Lawrence, there was a heck of a lot of hope that he would be the next in a great line of Kansas guards. That being said, he has largely disappointed. This is the first year that he has averaged double digits in scoring, and in his first three tourney games in 2012, he scored just a grand total of 26 points. That isn’t going to cut it in this one to say the least. Taylor did score 22 against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Elite Eight last weekend. It was encouraging to say the least, but Aaron Craft and William Buford are significantly more experienced and have more to bring to the table defensively than the Tar Heels could without both of their best point guards from the start of the season playing. This is a man that is a lifetime 37 percent shooter from beyond the arc, and he shot at least 48 percent from the field over the course of his career as well. Taylor has to keep that up and be the hero on the biggest stage now that he is a senior.

Key #3: The Buckeyes can’t try to get into a three-point shooting game
There aren’t many aspects to the game that the Buckeyes aren’t very good at, but shooting the three-point shot is one of them. They shot just 33.2 percent from beyond the arc this year as a team, and they have the tendency to go cold when push comes to shove. This is a team that has only taken 20 or more three-point shots once in the three games here in the dance, and that one game was the truly close call against the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Last year when the Buckeyes were pounding the interior, they were relatively unstoppable. However, when they tried to push their game to the outside in the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats in the Sweet 16, they were simply off the mark when it counted the most. OSU has to get the ball to the inside more often, and then shooting games like William Buford had against UK when he shot just 2-for-16 from the floor won’t happen. If that’s the case, it would take a herculean effort by a Jayhawk to pull off the mild upset.

Click Here to get the best March Madness picks that you’ll find on the internet, including our NCAA Tournament picks and the Final Four picks for the rest of the NCAA Tournament game odds.

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Posted in NCAA Basketball - Last Updated on Thursday, March 29th, 2012 @ 3:25 am (EST)
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