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Final Four 2012: The X Factor For Each Team

First Posted: 03/28/2012 3:48 pm   Updated: 03/29/2012 10:36 am

With a combined 13 national championships, a total of 49 Final Four appearances and a barrage of current All-Americans, the 2012 NCAA Final Four embodies brand-name college basketball at its finest: Kansas vs. Ohio State, Kentucky vs. Louisville. While the nation is clamoring for Thomas Robinson, Jared Sullinger, Anthony Davis and Peyton Siva -- and rightfully so -- let's take a look at each team's X factor as well.

Aaron Craft (PG), Ohio State
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Aaron Craft is the unsung hero of an Ohio State team that relies heavily on his pestering on-ball defense and his ability to thwart the opposition's half-court offense. The sophomore point guard increased his school single-season record to 95 steals in the Buckeyes' win over Syracuse in the Elite Eight. Since the Gonzaga win in the round of 32, he has played all but two possible minutes while maintaining superb energy and composure as the only true ball handler on the roster. His penetration will be vital against Kansas, but perhaps even more important will be his defense against Jayhawks point guard Tyshawn Taylor, who is an explosive scorer also prone to untimely turnovers.
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Email me at jordan.schultz@huffingtonpost.com or ask me questions about anything sports-related @206Child.

Plus, check out my HuffPost sports blog, The Schultz Report, for a fresh and daily outlook on all things sports and listen to my radio spot on 1280 The Zone Wednesday nights at 6:10 ET during the NCAA Tournament. Also, tune in at 6:30 ET right afterward on Memphis 56 Sports Radio.

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