NCAA Final 4 Predictions – Ohio State
The Ohio State Buckeyes were considered a top three or four team by almost everyone heading into the season. Through the year the team had some rough stretches and there were quite a few questions about the team’s toughness and chemistry, but they put it together at the right time.
**2013 - BET ON BASKETBALL FOR REAL MONEY USING YOUR CREDIT CARD AT ANY OF OUR BEST SPORTSBOOKS** (We review them all here!)
The Buckeyes are playing their best basketball of the season right now.
Ohio State Odds to Win 2012 NCAA Championship from Bovada- +290
Ohio State will square off against Kansas in the second Final Four game Saturday night in New Orleans. Bovada lists the Buckeyes as a small 2.5 point favorite in that matchup.
What is so much different about this team compared to a few weeks ago when it seemed they were bound to underachieve? The Buckeyes are a much more balanced team. They have clearly picked up the intensity on both sides of the floor as well. Every guy on the floor for the Buckeyes is fully capable of carrying the team.
Point Guard- Aaron Craft- Craft is the nation’s best on-the-ball defender. He already has 13 steals in the NCAA Tournament. His quickness and tenacity on the defensive end are unmatched. On the offensive end Craft isn’t a great shooter, but he has 178 assists compared to just 78 turnovers this season.
Shooting Guard- William Buford- Buford is the lone senior starter on this team, and he ranks in the top five all-time at Ohio State in scoring. He is clearly capable of scorching the nets for 25 or 30 points, but he has shot just 35% in the team’s last seven games. The Buckeyes need Buford to come up with some big shots in the Final Four.
Small Forward- Lenzelle Smith Jr.- Smith is one of the most underrated players in the nation. He averages only 6.6 points per game, but he scored 15 and 18 last weekend in the Buckeyes wins over Cincinnati and Syracuse. Smith is the type of guy that just about any coach would love to have on their roster.
Power Forward- Deshaun Thomas- Thomas is a scoring machine. This is a guy that can score in a huge variety of ways. He scored 20 points in the first half against Cincinnati. He is a guy that creates a mismatch against just about every team the Buckeyes play.
Center- Jared Sullinger- Sullinger uses his body extremely well, and he has shown some very impressive post moves in the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes needed him in the second half against Syracuse and he came up big. He’ll need to stay out of foul trouble and keep up his high level of play if the Buckeyes are going to cut down the nets in New Orleans.
Ohio State is an ultra-talented team that is capable of big things, but they must play 40 great minutes twice if they are going to win it all against a tough field in the Final Four. At +290, it is probably worth a small punt on the Buckeyes to win it all.