Ohio State guard Aaron Craft is averaging 10.1 points per game for the Buckeyes… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)
OHIO STATE vs. WICHITA STATE
SCOUTING REPORT: The pressure is on Big Ten Conference member Ohio State, which is trying to live up to its No. 2 seeding in the regional. The Buckeyes required a last-second shot to get past Arizona and now they meet a physical Wichita State team that welcomes the opportunity to mix it up inside. "They've got nothing to lose," Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas said. "So they're going to come out there and try to get every loose ball, every rebound, so we're going to have to match that."
KEY TO THE GAME: Ohio State, seeking its first national title since 1960, needs a solid performance from Thomas as a rebounder as well as a shooter and will probably get a boost from a Buckeye-friendly crowd at Staples Center. Wichita State outrebounded smallish La Salle, 47-29, in a semifinal, but Ohio State is a much larger challenge. The Shockers need forward Cleanthony Early to shoot better than his four-for-11 performance against La Salle.
OHIO STATE Ht. Wt. Stats P WICHITA STATE Ht. Wt. Stats Deshaun Thomas 6-7 225 19.7 ppg F Carl Hal 6-8 238 12.7 ppg Sam Thompson 6-7 190 7.9 ppg F Tekele Cotton 6-2 202 6.3 ppg Amir Williams 6-11 250 3.9 rpg C/F Cleanthony Early 6-8 215 13.7 ppg Aaron Craft 6-2 190 10.1 ppg G Malcolm Armstead 6-0 205 10.8 ppg Lenzelle Smith 6-4 205 9.3 ppg G Ron Baker 6-3 218 8.6 ppg RESERVES Shannon Scott 6-1 180 4.9 ppg G Fred Van Vleet 5-11 190 4.1 ppg LaQuinton Ross 6-8 225 8.0 ppg F/C Ehimen Orukpe 7-0 250 4.5 rpg