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Gerald Herbert, Associated Press
Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas talks to reporters during a news conference in New Orleans, Thursday, March 29, 2012. Ohio State is scheduled to play Kansas in an NCAA tournament Final Four semifinal college basketball game on Saturday.

NEW ORLEANS — Jared Sullinger's decision to return gave Ohio State a boost. Deshaun Thomas' emergence as a scoring threat has taken some of the weight off his teammate's shoulders.

Together, the sophomore forwards helped lead the Buckeyes into the Final Four.

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Sullinger could have been a lottery pick after his freshman season, but opted to come back for the chance to win a national championship in Columbus. Shaking off a late-season funk, he's been superb in the postseason, scoring 18 points a game.

Thomas was little more than a bit player last year, but has picked up his scoring this season, leading the Buckeyes with 21.8 points per game in the NCAA tournament after being their second-leading scorer during the regular season.

Ohio State faces Kansas in the Final Four on Saturday.