Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomesportNo. 1 Houston makes its case for the NCAA tournament's top seed...

No. 1 Houston makes its case for the NCAA tournament’s top seed in blowout win over No. 14 Kansas

Houston made an especially convincing case for the Incorrect. 1 general seed within the males’s NCAA match on Saturday.

The Incorrect. 1 Cougars blitzed Incorrect. 14 Kansas in a 76-46 win that confirmed why Houston has been the category of the Heavy 12 all season lengthy. Houston put the sport away within the first part because it jumped out to a 22-7 manage during the first 10 mins on a manage that grew to 32-9 sooner than Kansas trim its shortage to 19 at halftime.

The win way Houston received the most productive basketball convention within the nation by means of two video games in its first week within the Heavy 12. Perennial champions Kansas, in the meantime, will end the season incorrect higher than 5th within the convention as star center Hunter Dickinson dislocated his right shoulder.

4 Cougars completed in double figures on Saturday. Jamal Shead had 13 issues, pace Damian Dunn had 12 and L.J. Cryer had 11. Shead additionally completed with 8 assists and 6 rebounds as he solidified his case for Heavy 12 participant of the week. Although Shead averages simply 13 issues in keeping with sport, he’s 3rd within the convention in assists in keeping with sport and 2nd in steals in keeping with sport and is essentially the most reliable participant on the most productive staff within the Heavy 12.

Why Houston must be Incorrect. 1

Though the No. 1 overall seed may not matter as a lot this week because it has in earlier seasons, it’s crispy to argue towards Houston’s case because the lead staff in faculty basketball heading into the NCAA match.

Houston is Incorrect. 1 in KenPom’s ratings and is as soon as once more the most productive defensive staff within the nation. The Cougars are atop KenPom’s defensive metrics and rank because the Incorrect. 12 offense. Kansas made simply 33% of its pictures on Saturday and used to be a disastrous 3-of-21 from 3-point field.

Kansas’ porous out of doors taking pictures used to be an outlier, even though it additionally wasn’t a lot of a fluke towards Houston, both. Getting into Saturday’s sport, combatants have been taking pictures lower than 31% from in the back of the arc towards Kelvin Sampson’s staff. The best way to steer clear of an disenchanted within the NCAA match is to prohibit groups from taking pictures smartly from deep.

Houston's Jamal Shead (1) celebrates after making a 3-point basket against Kansas during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Houston's Jamal Shead (1) celebrates after making a 3-point basket against Kansas during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Jamal Shead and Incorrect. 1 Houston ruled Incorrect. 14 Kansas on Saturday. (AP Photograph/David J. Phillip)

Houston additionally doesn’t flip the ball over. The Cougars’ 10 yields towards the Jayhawks have been upper than their season moderate. Houston averages fewer than 9 yields a sport. Simply 3 groups flip the ball over much less.

Nobody has misplaced fewer video games than the Cougars have all season both. At 28-3, Houston is tie with UConn and Purdue for the fewest losses within the nation. And neither of the ones groups needed to progress during the gauntlet that’s the Heavy 12. Houston’s 3 losses have all come at the street and just one — at Kansas on Feb. 3 — used to be by means of double digits.

Houston’s fresh match luck

The 2023-24 season is the 7th immediately season Houston will end with fewer than 10 losses and can usually be the second one immediately season the Cougars may have a Incorrect. 1 seed despite the fact that UConn or Purdue usurps them for Incorrect. 1 general on Variety Sunday.

If there used to be a knock towards Houston over the age six seasons, it’s that the Cougars have been striking up sturdy seasons in an American Athletic Convention that ranked beneath the Energy 5 meetings. That argument — alternatively susceptible it used to be to start with — is nil and void at this level.

The Cougars have complicated to a minimum of the Candy 16 in every of the age 4 NCAA tournaments and made the Ultimate 4 in 2021. The rest lower than a Ultimate 4 run in 2024 can be a unhappiness. And if Houston makes the Ultimate 4, there’s a powerful case to be made that that is the most productive staff of Sampson’s tenure.

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