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Final Four 2012: Ohio State's Jared Sullinger Could Be Slowed By Kansas Center Jeff Withey

The Kansas Jayhawks have already faced and defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes back in December, but the biggest asterisk associated with the win was the absence of OSU's best player Jared Sullinger. Now that the two are meeting again in the Final Four, KU can only hope for the same results while the Buckeyes are banking on Sullinger's return making the difference.

Yet Kansas has a player in the middle who could make a significant difference, even given Sullinger's presence. Jeff Withey of Kansas is exactly the kind of player that John Kampf says can affect Sullinger's game and approach. Kampf writes

A lot of people are anticipating the showdown between Ohio State's Jared Sullinger and Kansas' Thomas Robinson, a pair of AP All-Americans. Of bigger interest might be Sullinger against Kansas 7-footer Jeff Withey. Sullinger is a beast in the paint, averaging 17.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. But he sometimes (all right, often) struggles against taller players with longer wingspans — which is exactly what Withey is. Withey averaged 3.5 blocks in 24.4 minutes per game. Even if he doesn't block a lot of shots vs. OSU, he could change enough of them to make a difference.

Withey's consistency has been an issue at times, but there's no denying his ability to use his size well when he's on. He had three blocks last game against North Carolina and an incredible 10 blocks against NC State in the Sweet 16. It should be a great match-up to watch.

Go check out Rock Chalk Talk for all things regarding Kansas hoops and go visit Along the Olentangy for more Ohio State basketball. For more on the 2012 NCAA Basketball tournament, head over to SB Nation's March Madness hub for all things NCAA basketball.