(1) Ohio State vs. (4) Kentucky
(1)Ohio State Buckeyes
From the beginning of the season Ohio State has been one of the balanced and consistent team’s in the country and that trend has continued through the first two round of the tournament, as the Buckeyes have rolled their first two opponents (UT-San Antonio and George Mason) by an average of more than 30 points per game. Ohio State has now won nine straight games as freshman point guard Aaron Craft has blossomed into one of the top point guards in the country. Already a game changer on the defensive end, Craft has 22 assists and just five turnovers in 58 minutes of play in the tournament. With a trio of veterans on the perimeter in David Lighty, William Buford and Jon Diebler and freshman Jared Sullinger dominating the low block, Ohio State is the most well-rounded team in college basketball and looking to prove it as they move toward the second weekend of the Big Dance.
Say what you will about John Calipari, but the Kentucky coach is arguably the best recruiter in the history of basketball and is one the verge of taking his third college program to the Final Four, a feat that has only been accomplished by one other coach, former Kentucky head man, Rick Pitino. After losing a record five players to the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft, Coach Cal has quickly reloaded his depleted roster with star freshmen Terrence Jones, Brandon Knight and Doron Lamb becoming the team’s top three scorers. UK has won eight straight games while giving up just 61.3 points per contest during that streak. Knight, who had just two points on 1-8 shooting in Kentucky’s second round win over Princeton, dropped 30 on West Virginia, helping the Wildcats back to the Sweet Sixteen for the second consecutive season.
HOOPSWORLD’s Pick: Ohio State. Terrence Jones is a match-up nightmare, but the Ohio State is a well-rounded team that can play any style of basketball.