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2012 NCAA Final Four, Ohio State: Jared Sullinger Leads Buckeyes

Neither the Ohio State Buckeyes nor the Kansas Jayhawks have defensive mettle like, say, the Michigan State Spartans have. They have won their games in the NCAA tournament with impressive offensive performances, and their key players are the men who put up tons of points. Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson are the big two for Kansas, both 20 point threats on any given night.

Fortunately, the Buckeyes have their own pair of 20 point threats, with Jared Sullinger the marquee name of the Buckeyes cast.

Sullinger was named Doug Gottlieb's third best player currently in the Final Four, right behind Anthony Davis of Kentucky and Kansas' Robinson. Sullinger has torn the tourney up so far with barrels of points, the biggest game being a 23 point performance against Cincinnati in the Sweet 16, where he also took down 11 rebounds. His 19 points against Syracuse were huge in their Elite Eight win, acting as the game changer despite getting into early foul trouble.

If Sullinger has a bad day he can count on DeShaun Thomas, who was right behind Sullinger in both points and rebounds for the Buckeyes this season. He has had a great tournament for himself, with 24 points against Cincy and 14 against Syracuse along with a masterclass 31 point, 12 rebound performance to destroy Loyola in the tournament's second round.

Those two pace the team's offense and rebounding numbers, but there is plenty of talent scattered around the Buckeyes lineup. Guys like Lenzelle Smith Jr. can step up in big moments, Smith in particular scoring 18 against Syracuse's tough defensive squad in the Elite Eight. Kansas will be putting up big numbers themselves, but they will have plenty to watch out for against a tough Buckeye offense led by Sullinger and Thomas.

For more on the Ohio State Buckeyes, check out Along The Olentangy, or follow SB Nation Cleveland's Ohio State StoryStream. For more on the Kansas Jayhawks check out Rock Chalk Talk, and for more on the NCAA Tournament you can head over to SB Nation's NCAA Tournament Hub.

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