Ohio State, Kentucky sure to excite

Updated: March 23, 2011, 4:34 PM ET
By Dick Vitale |

When I look at the matchups for the Sweet 16, one game stands out to me. I cannot wait to watch the Ohio State-Kentucky showdown, baby!

I guarantee you that Wildcats coach John Calipari loves being the underdog in this situation. He will tell the media that the Buckeyes are one of the best teams of all time. He will play them up to his team.

My friends, Calipari is a master motivator. He will have his team ready to play.

Keys for Kentucky

• Kentucky needs Josh Harrellson to play well in his battle against the premier diaper dandy in the nation, Jared Sullinger. Harrellson has had a great tournament so far, averaging 15 points and nine rebounds in the first two games.

Brandon Knight has to play like he did against West Virginia, when he scored 30 points. Knight had just one field goal against Princeton, though it was the game-winning basket.

Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb have to play to their abilities. With a full season under their belts, they are not playing like freshmen anymore.

Keys for Ohio State

• Thad Matta's team has so many offensive threats. If you slow down Sullinger inside, you have to deal with Jon Diebler, David Lighty and William Buford on the perimeter.

• Then there is Aaron Craft, who is a defensive dynamo that can also distribute the rock. He sets the tone with his intensity.

• In the first two games of the tourney, Ohio State has hit 28-of-50 on 3-pointers. The team has 49 assists and just 22 turnovers. They'll have to improve at the foul line after shooting under 56 percent on free throws against George Mason.

Wow, these are two heavyweights going at it! This could have been a Final Four showdown in other years. When it is all said and done, however, I am picking Ohio State to move on.

Matta is quickly becoming the King of Columbus. Move over Jim Tressel, the name is Matta, baby!

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to