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Playing with the big boys

Breaking down Oden vs. Hibbert, OSU vs. Georgetown

Posted: Friday March 30, 2007 10:50AM; Updated: Saturday March 31, 2007 1:58PM
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Mike Conley Jr. could be the key to an Ohio State berth in the national title game.
Mike Conley Jr. could be the key to an Ohio State berth in the national title game.
John Biever/SI
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Ohio State (34-3) vs. Georgetown (30-6)
Saturday, 6:07 p.m. ET, CBS
Georgia Dome (57,000)

When Greg Oden signed with Ohio State we knew the Buckeyes would be good, but this good? The big man has been quite a presence, but it's his high school teammate who has created the buzz of late. Mike Conley Jr. is playing better than any guard in the nation, and he's the reason why Ohio State is here. But the marquee matchup is still Oden vs. Georgetown's Roy Hibbert, and the clash of the titans in the paint is going to be awfully fun to watch.

Point Guard

Ohio State's Mike Conley Jr.
Fr., 6-1, 180
Stats: 11.0 ppg, 6.1 apg

The Buckeyes are in good hands with Conley, who has blazing quickness and excellent court awareness. He runs the team with the poise of a veteran and has been unflappable in the tournament. Conley is dangerous in transition and can penetrate and find a seam, or kick it out to a shooter on the perimeter. Streaky from the outside, Georgetown must slow Conley down and make the Buckeyes play a half-court game.

Georgetown's Jonathan Wallace
Jr., 6-1, 188
Stats: 11.2 ppg, 48.6 percent from three

Wallace is a steady ballhandler and deadly outside shooter. His three-pointer against North Carolina in the final seconds of regulation sent the game into overtime and broke the Tar Heels' spirit. Wallace needs to look for his shot, especially if Ohio State doubles down on Hibbert and Jeff Green. More important: He has to keep Conley in front of him on the defensive end.

EDGE: OHIO STATE

Shooting Guard

Ohio State's Jamar Butler
Jr., 6-2, 205
Stats: 8.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg

Butler is one of the Buckeyes' iron men and is almost always on the floor. The team's best outside shooter, he has the ability to create his own shot and get to the wing in transition. He should have plenty of opportunities, as Georgetown will likely help on Oden. He has to make the most of them.

Georgetown's Jessie Sapp
So., 6-3, 205
Stats: 9.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg

Sapp is the Hoyas' most underrated player and brings a New York City toughness to the court. Strong enough to battle in the paint and swift enough to hang with guards on the perimeter, he is a valuable asset. Sometimes he has a tendency to force things, but if he stays within the flow of the offense, he'll get his points.

EDGE: EVEN

Small Forward

Ohio State's Ron Lewis
Sr., 6-4, 200
Stats: 12.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg

The Buckeyes' veteran leader, Lewis steps up when it counts the most. He's best known for drilling a three-pointer against Xavier to send the game into overtime and is averaging a team-leading 19 points in the past seven games. A three-point threat, he can also slash to the basket. Lewis is going to have to bear down on defense and help out on Georgetown's bigs.

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