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Final Four 2012: Thad Matta Takes Ohio State To His Second Final Four

Ever since the Ohio State Buckeyes lost to Kentucky last season in the Sweet 16 and Jared Sullinger decided to return for his sophomore season, Thad Matta's squad has eyed a Final Four. After upsetting Syracuse on Saturday, Ohio State has earned the right to play Kansas for a berth in the national championship game.

In the Elite 8 upset over Syracuse, Jared Sullinger produced 19 points and seven rebounds, while sophomore guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. was the surprise star with 18 points. The Buckeyes have been very impressive in their run to the Final Four, winning each game by at least seven points.

Ohio State walked all over Loyola Maryland in its opening game before surviving a scare against a talented, but youthful Gonzaga team in the round of 32. The Buckeyes then squashed cross-town rival Cincinnati in the Sweet 16 to advance to their fateful match with the Orangemen.

DeShaun Thomas has averaged over 20 points per game in the tournament for the Buckeyes.

For more 2012 NCAA Tournament coverage, head over to SB Nation's 2012 tourney hub page. For more on the Ohio State Buckeyes, check out Along The Olentangy, or follow SB Nation Cleveland's Ohio State StoryStream.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.