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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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Dictate the Pace

What if I told you that the Cougars like to play fast on offense but force teams to play at the slowest pace in the country on the defensive end. Longwood plays slow on both ends of the floor and they are comfortable playing slow. Houston doesn’t make anyone comfortable on offense but Longwood has struggled a lot with teams who do play fast on the offensive end. Houston is good at playing fast on the offensive end and can do a lot of damage when they play fast.

Houston is one of the unique teams in the tournament that can still put up points if you slow the pace down and force them to play slower. The Cougars usually dictate the pace because they can play at so many different speeds. The problem that top seeds face is when they don’t control the pace and let teams hang around.

Last year Purdue was very passive and let Fairleigh Dickinson dictate the pace that game was going to be played at. It made the Knights comfortable and Purdue could never deliver the kill shot to bury the Knights. If Houston comes out and controls the pace and plays their game, that won’t happen and they will get an easy win.