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Squeezing the Orange
March 26, 2012 - Robert "Bubba" Kapral
THE OHIO State Buckeyes will have a bittersweet experience in the freshly minted Final Four. Coach Thad Matta's Scarlet & Gray are peaking at the right time. They played lights out in eliminating No. 1 seed Syracuse in the Elite Eight Saturday night. The win was made sweeter as the Buckeyes persevered despite early foul problems to sophomore star Jared Sullinger. Sullinger's absence was cushioned by the development of players like Deshaun Thomas and Lenzelle Smith. You would like to think that senior sharpshooter William Buford will regain his long-range touch. Sophomore point guard Aaron Craft remains the heart and soul of this team. I have no doubt he will be at his best in the Final Four. As fate would have it, Ohio State will have an easier task in the national semifinals than it did to get there. The Buckeyes now take on Kansas, a softer touch than Syracuse. Unfortunately, the Buckeyes' magic carpet ride will reach an abrupt end, as they will have no answer for the amazing talent of the Kentucky Wildcats. But during their mid-season swoon, the Buckeyes would have relished being national runnerup. The title game loss will be a doubly painful for OSU partisans, as it will also mark the end of Sullinger's career in Columbus.
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