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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Stay out of Foul Trouble

I am never one to blame the referees for a game and I am not going to start now but the game against Texas A&M was officiated tightly. It was hard for either team to be very aggressive on the defensive end and it led to a lot of offense. The final score of 100-95 is not a game that Houston or Texas A&M are used to playing. Houston does foul a little but not enough to give up over 40 free throws, and not enough to have 4 out of their 5 starters foul out.

The beauty of playing Duke is that the Blue Devils don’t get to the line all that often and they are not as athletic or physical as Texas A&M is. Some have questioned the toughness of the Blue Devils and that plays right into the hands of a great Houston defense. None of it will matter if the Cougars don’t adjust to the way the game is being called and continue to foul at a high right. Houston won the game against Texas A&M, but Duke is a much better team than the Aggies and if coach Sampson needs to go deep to his bench this one may have a different result.

The Cougars have a lot of experience and a lot of leadership, and those guys are going to get the rest of the team ready. Coach Sampson is a great coach, and you could tell was frustrated after the Texas A&M game with all the foul trouble. If the Cougars stay out of foul trouble their defense is going to be that much better. When they are locked in Houston is terribly hard to score on and that is why they are one seed and that is why they are the team I picked to win the title.