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Houston Basketball: 3 keys for 1st Round NCAA Tournament game against Longwood

Houston opens up their 2023-2024 NCAA tournament agasint Longwood. It is the beginning of the quest to win the National Championship

Mar 16, 2024; Kansas City, MO, USA; Houston Cougars guard Mylik Wilson (8) handles the ball while
Mar 16, 2024; Kansas City, MO, USA; Houston Cougars guard Mylik Wilson (8) handles the ball while / Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports
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Do what you are supposed to do

This is going to be a huge thing for the whole tournament for Houston. When they play up to their capabilities there are very few teams in the country that can beat Houston and much less play with them. The Cougars know what is at stake and they are battle tested this year. Last season as I mentioned, Houston never looked right in the NCAA tournament, they needed a late comeback to beat Northern Kentucky, they were down double digits at half time against Auburn in the second round before finally getting eliminated by Miami. This year the Cougars have a favorable bracket and need to come out and leave no doubt.

Longwood earned their spot in the tournament by winning the Big South tournament. The Lancers are a defense first team just like Houston but they don’t have the athletes and Longwood doesn’t have near the talent to play with the Cougars. I know that Houston did draw the best 16 seed but if they don’t play with their food and take care of their of business this game won’t be close.

Houston doing what they are supposed to do is covering the spread and winning with enough margin to allow coach Kelvin Sampson to rest his starters. Houston is dealing with some injuries that may test their depth in the later rounds of the tournament so anytime they are going to be able to rest their starters in the early rounds it is going to be needed. Houston will come out motivated and end this one early.