This will be Kansas and Ohio State’s first time to meet in a Final Four game. Its their second meeting of the year, the first yielding a win for the Jayhawks over an OSU team sans clear NBA lottery pick, Jarred Sullinger.
In what has to be Thomas Robinson’s defining all around career game, the Kansas Jayhawks are headed for New Orleans for a date with Ohio State. Robinson throughout played like the national player of the year and looked mostly like a seasoned NBA player hell bent on winning. His physical aggression had him chasing loose balls well past lines of photographers and not shying away from big shots, even when they included drives the basket and pull up 3-pointers. He continually won the much important post position battle with Zeller on the KU offensive end, all while having 3 fouls against him and a consistent double team. Withey came out with his second back-to-back effort, contributing 3 blocks and 14 points. Overall, Kansas won the battle of bigs over a UNC team touted as strong in that arena. This is something that will be needed on Saturday when they face Sullinger.
Tyshawn Taylor went 6 rebounds, 5 assist and 22 points, giving the Jayhawks a monstrous performance from the guard position. Tyshawn’s speed in transition was another killer, particularly at the 1:59 mark when he got a steal, basket and a trip to the line.
Kansas as a team outhustled the Tarheels, appearing throughout the second half to want the ticket to the Final Four a lot more. Kansas out rebounded a North Carolina team currently ranked number 1 in the country for rebounding. The triangle two defense appeared something of a foreign film with no subtitles for the Tarheels.
Quick Keys to Saturday’s game: minimize the damage that Sullinger can reap by getting him into foul trouble, which he has found problematic in the past two tournament games. Robinson and Withey stay out of foul trouble. Take care of the ball.