Houston Cougars Basketball: 2018-19 keys to winning at Tulane

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WICHITA, KS – MARCH 17: Head coach Kelvin Sampson of the Houston Cougars talks with the team as they take on the Michigan Wolverines in the second half during the second round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at INTRUST Bank Arena on March 17, 2018 in Wichita, Kansas. The Michigan Wolverines won 64-63 with a 3-point buzzer beater. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

On Saturday the Houston Cougars look to continue dominating the AAC when they travel to Tulane. Here are 3 keys to Houston picking up another win.

A four-point loss at Temple on Jan. 9, that is all that stands between the Houston Cougars and a 25-0 record, but yet they just climbed into the AP top 10 this week at No. 9, after defeating their nearest competitor, Cincinnati 65-58.

People point to their strength of schedule, more specifically in the non-conference, sure there are some cupcakes, but who doesn’t schedule cupcakes nowadays? Kelvin Sampson’s team also has wins over a very good Utah State, a now ranked LSU, at the time No. 18 Oregon (is it Houston’s fault the Pac-12 has been so bad?), and a BYU team that is second in the WCC behind a completely dominant Gonzaga.

In terms of things the selection committee will look at, the Cougars have 14 wins across the first two quadrants, that’s more than Gonzaga, Duke, Virginia, and Tennessee.

The point is, Houston has been rolling all season, and that rolling looks to continue on Sunday when they travel to New Orleans to take on a Tulane Green Wave team still looking for its first league win and sits at 4-19 overall. Mike Dunleavy’s team has struggled all year, since knocking off South Dakota State, who is looking for their fourth straight Summit League title, as part of the Gulf Coast Showcase on Nov. 19 they have gone 2-18 and have lost 13 straight entering this game with the Cougars.

If Houston wants to continue to climb in both the rankings and in the eyes of the committee they can’t afford to slip up, especially against Tulane, and with just five games remaining after this one and two of the last three coming against their nearest competitors, Cincinnati, and Central Florida, each win is crucial. Here are three keys for the Cougars not to get wiped out by the Green Wave.

Note: National statistics are through games on Feb. 13

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