Kansas center Jeff Withey (5) rebounds during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Richmond in Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. Withey scored 17 points and had 13 rebounds in their 87-59 win. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)The Associated Press
Ohio State head coach Thad Matta calls to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Winthrop, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 65-55. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)The Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio – After Kansas knocked off Ohio State for the second time in two meetings last season, this time in the national semifinals, Buckeyes guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. didn't have the heart to even watch the championship game.
He temporarily lost interest.
But when Ohio State's schedule came out this summer and Smith saw that No. 9 Kansas was coming to play at the seventh-ranked Buckeyes on Saturday, he made special note of it.
The teams have changed — each lost their top player from last season's Final Four matchup. But a lot still is riding on it when the Jayhawks (8-1) and Buckeyes (8-1) meet for the third time in little more than a year, this time at Value City Arena.