Busting Brackets

Houston Basketball: 3 keys for Sweet 16 Matchup against Duke Blue Devils

Houston has made the sweet 16 for the 5th year in a row. They get a much better matchup than they had in the round of 32
Houston's Ramon Walker Jr. (3) and Ryan Elvin (20) celebrate after Houston defeated Longwood 86-46
Houston's Ramon Walker Jr. (3) and Ryan Elvin (20) celebrate after Houston defeated Longwood 86-46 / Chris Day/Memphis Commercial Appeal /
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It wasn’t easy but the Houston Cougars are back in the Sweet 16 for the 5th season in a row. This year though they hope to make it past the Sweet 16 and continue their quest towards the National Championship. Houston was eliminated last year in the Sweet 16 by eventual Final Four participant Miami Hurricanes. The game was never close, and it was a missed opportunity for the Cougars last year. Houston is motivated this year to advance and past the second weekend and into their second Final Four under coach Kelvin Sampson.

Houston survived against Texas A&M and that game wasn’t easy and it took overtime and four of the five Houston starters fouled out. Coach Sampson had to go to end of the bench to find guys to play and help him win a game. It took rarely used senior point guard Ryan Elvin to step to the line and knock down a free throw to win the game. March has some unlikely heroes and as it stands Elvin has the biggest point for Houston at this point in the season. The Aggies were extremely athletic and were the best rebounding team in the country. They pose matchup problems from everyone, and it was a good thing that Houston was able to survive and advance in the tournament.

The Cougars have an easier matchup at least in terms of athleticism and matchups in the round of 16. That game is against the Duke Blue Devils and Duke is good and will present some challenges to the Cougars and their stifling defense. The one thing you can count on is that the Cougars are going to come out motivated and ready to play and will be physical and relentless on defense. Houston has a chance to impose their will on the Blue Devils and there are three things they need to do to head to Easter Sunday with a chance to make the Final Four.