The two seed of the west, The Ohio State Buckeyes, squares off with the nine seeded Wichita State Shockers in the 2013 NCAA Tournament's West Regional final on Saturday with a trip to the Final Four in Atlanta at stake.
The Buckeyes needed yet another dramatic game-winning shot in the waining moments of Thursday's 73-70 win over Arizona, but sophomore LaQuinton Ross stepped up where star point guard Aaron Craft had before him. Ohio State will take on a quasi-Cinderella in Gregg Marshall's Wichita State side, who make their first trip to the Elite Eight since 1981 with a shot to return to their first Final Four in the modern era (they'd previously made it once prior in 1965)
The Shockers downed bracket darlings Pitt in their second round opener and then shocked the West's one seed, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, to reach the Sweet 16. Behind Carl Hall (who could give Ohio State's bigs some trouble) and Malcolm Armstead, the Shockers downed 13 seeded La Salle without much issue to set up Saturday's date with Ohio State on Saturday at 7:05 p.m EST in Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.
The early lines are out, and Vegas seems to be of the impression that the Buckeyes will be headed back to their second straight Final Four. The first reported line had the Buckeyes set as 6.5 point favorites over the Shockers, where as the most occurring line at top Las Vegas and online sportsbooks has the Shockers as 5.5 dogs.
Though Wichita State will most assuredly be no easy out, the Buckeyes will be kicking themselves if they fail to make it back to the upper echelon of the sport. No other Elite Eight participant is expected to draw a lower seeded opponent in their Regional Final game.