The location of the West Regional final has been set in stone for quite some time now, but until Thursday night, the two teams going up against each other in Los Angeles for a berth in the Final Four were unknown.
No. 2 Ohio State became the first team to clinch its berth in the Elite Eight at the Staples Center with a last-second win over No. 6 Arizona.
Now, the focus of Thad Matta’s Buckeyes shifts to the No. 9 Wichita State Shockers, who thoroughly dominated No. 13 La Salle in the Sweet 16.
The Shockers are a very talented team, but the Buckeyes have plenty of advantages over their foe from the Missouri Valley Conference.
Here are five of the Buckeyes’ biggest advantages over Wichita State heading into Saturday’s Elite Eight battle.
Ohio State junior guard Aaron Craft is one of the stingiest defenders in all of college basketball, and his shutdown defense will once again be called upon on Saturday.
Craft has guarded some of the best players in college basketball this season including Victor Oladipo, Trey Burke and Keith Appling.
Against Wichita State, Craft’s task will be to shut down Malcolm Armstead.
The Shockers’ senior guard has been unstoppable this postseason, with four double-digit scoring performances, including the 18 he put up against La Salle on Thursday.
Armstead’s contributions on offense make the Shockers a well-rounded team, and if Craft can shut down the senior guard, all the Buckeyes will have to worry about is defending the powerful paint players that Gregg Marshall’s team possesses.
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