NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Sweet 16 Preview: South Regional, #5-Seeded Houston Cougars going up against #1-Seeded Arizona Wildcats in San Antonio tonight at 9:59 PM


SAN ANTONIO, Texas – For the third straight season, the University of Houston Men’s Basketball program will compete in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 when it tips off against #2/2 (1) Arizona around 8:40 p.m., Thursday inside AT&T Center.

Houston earned its trip to the Sweet 16 following an impressive 68-53 win over #19/16 (4) Illinois on Sunday inside PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. Against the Fighting Illini, graduate guard Taze Moore poured in a season-high 21 points and tied with graduate forward Fabian White Jr. for team-high honors.
Thursday’s game will be the Cougars’ 14th appearance in the Sweet 16 and the third consecutive under Head Coach Kelvin Sampson.

This season, graduate forward Josh Carlton leads the Cougars and rank fifth in the American Athletic Conference with 6.3 rebounds per game. The Winterville, N.C., native, who is in his first season with the Cougars after transferring from UConn, tops the league and ranks 17th nationally with 3.3 offensive rebounds per contest.

• All fans who couldn’t make it to San Antonio are invited to join the Cougars’ Watch Party at Avenida Houston in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center, beginning at 7 p.m., Thursday
• To claim FREE tickets to Thursday’s Watch Party, fans can click here.
• Fans can see all the action on two big screens for maximum viewing opportunities with a pregame DJ, the UH Spirit team and plenty of Houston Athletics giveaways and prizes.

• Fans can watch Thursday’s game on CBS with Brian Anderson (play-by-play), Jim Jackson (analyst) and Allie LaForce (reporter) calling the action.
• Fans can hear Thursday’s game on 950 AM KPRC with Jeremy Branham calling the action. Fans also can hear the game on Westwood Radio with Scott Graham (play-by-play) and P.J. Carlesimo (analyst) calling.

• Graduate forward Fabian White Jr. continues to push his name higher in the Houston records book in multiple categories this season.
• With Sunday’s Second-Round win over #19/16 (4) Illinois, the Atascocita, Texas, native competed in the 120th victory of his Houston career, extending his school record. He now owns a 120-27 record with the Cougars.
• White also appeared in his 147th during his time in Houston, the most by any Cougar in school history.

• Sophomore point guard Jamal Shead continues to rise higher in the Houston records book during the 2021-22 season.
• With three assists in the Cougars’ Second-Round win over #19/16 (4) Illinois on Sunday, Shead now has 213 assists this season.
• His total is the second highest in Houston single-season history, trailing only Houston great Reid Getty’s school-record 309 assists during the 1983-84 season.

• Senior guard Kyler Edwards finds himself in elite company in the American Athletic Conference.
• Through games of March 21, Edwards is one of only two players to rank among the league’s Top-10 leaders in both scoring AND rebounding.
• Edwards stands 10th in the league with 13.9 points per game and is seventh with 6.0 rebounds per contest.
• He joins Tulsa’s Jeriah Horne (16.1 ppg, 5th; 6.9 rpg, 3rd) as the only members of the exclusive group.

• Sophomore point guard Jamal Shead stands among the national leaders in a pair of categories in 2021-22.
• The Manor, Texas, native ranks seventh in the nation with 6.0 assists per game and is eighth with a 3.13 assist-turnover radio.
• Shead is the only student-athlete in NCAA Division I to rank among the Top-Eight leaders in both categories.

• The Cougars are competing in the 23rd NCAA Tournament in school history in 2022.
• This marks only the fourth time in school history that Houston will compete in four consecutive NCAA Tournaments. The 1981-84 teams were the last group to accomplish the feat. The 1965-68 teams also played in four straight NCAA Tournaments.
• With Sunday’s win over #19/16 (4) Illinois, Houston is now 34-27 all-time at the NCAA Tournament with Final Four appearances in 1967, 1968, 1982, 1983, 1984 and 2021.
• The Cougars advanced to the NCAA National Championship Game in 1983 before bowing out to NC State (in one of the most memorable games in NCAA Tournament history) and in 1984 against Georgetown.

• Arizona enters Thursday’s NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Game with a 33-3 overall record and 18-8 mark in the Pac-12.
• The Wildcats are competing as the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament South Region.
• Arizona is No. 2 in both the Associated Press (1,470 pts) and Ferris Mowers Coaches (765 pts) polls.
• Arizona won the Pac-12 regular-season title by three games over UCLA.
• The Wildcats have won their last eight games and 17 of their last 18… Only a 79-63 loss at Colorado on Feb. 26 prevents a longer winning streak.
• Arizona has posted a 7-0 record in neutral-site games this season.
• In its most recent action, Arizona claimed an 85-80 win in overtime over (9) TCU in San Diego on Sunday night to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16,
• Against TCU, sophomore guard Bennedict Mathurin led all players with 30 points and grabbed eight rebounds with four assists and two steals. Junior center Christian Koloko scored 28 points on 12-of-13 shooting from the field with a team-high 12 rebounds and three blocked shots.
• This season, Mathurin leads the Wildcats with 17.8 points per game. Sophomore forward Azuolas Tubelis stands second on the team with 14.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per contest.
• Koloko stands third among the Wildcats with 12.7 points per game but leads the team with 7.4 rebounds per contest. Sophomore guard Kerr Kriisa leads the team with 4.8 assists per game.
• Head Coach Tommy Lloyd is in his first season at Arizona and as a collegiate head coach.
• Lloyd has compiled a 33-3 record at Arizona and during his career.
• Thursday’s game will be the first time Lloyd has faced Houston during his career.
• Thursday’s game will be the first time Lloyd has faced Houston Head Coach Kelvin Sampson during their careers.
• 1998 graduate of Whitman.

• Arizona owns a 6-5 lead against Houston in the series, which began during the 1958-59 season.
• Thursday’s game will be the first meeting against the Wildcats since a 96-90 loss in overtime in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 24, 2009.
• Arizona has won the last three meetings and five of the last six. Only a 69-65 Houston win on Dec. 3, 2005, inside Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston prevents a longer streak.
• Series started with an 81-76 Houston win in  Houston on Dec. 8, 1958.
at NCAA Tournament: Thursday’s game will be the first time Houston has faced Arizona in the NCAA Tournament.
at Neutral Site: Thursday’s game will be the first time Houston has faced Arizona at a neutral site.

• With a win over #2/2 (1) Arizona in the NCAA Tournament South Region Sweet 16, the Cougars advance to the Elite Eight to face the winner of #6/5 (2) Villanova-(11) Michigan.
• That game will be played on Saturday, March 26, inside AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
• Game time and broadcasting network would be announced following Thursday’s Sweet 16 games.
• All Houston Men’s Basketball games can be heard on 950 AM KPRC.

Fans who were unable to secure 2021-22 season tickets may start preparing for next season by putting down a $75 deposit and placing their names on the 2022-23 Men’s Basketball Season Ticket Priority Wait List by clicking here.

JOIN the 50-50-CLUB
Fans are invited to join the 50-50 Club to support Houston Men’s Basketball. 50-50 Club members help fund program necessities and enhance the experience for our student-athletes.

Fans who join the 50-50 Club will receive embroidered Jordan Brand team apparel, invitations to exclusive events, regular updates about the program and much more.

For more information or to sign up, fans may visit or click here. To join the 50-50 Club, fans may call Cougar Pride at 713-743-GoUH (4687).

Fans can receive updates by following @UHCougarMBK on Twitter and catch up with the latest news and notes on the team by clicking LIKE on the team’s Facebook page at UHCougarMBK or by visiting the team’s Instagram page at UHCougarMBK.
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MAC champion Akron Zips starts off NCAA Tournament with UCLA Bruins in Portland on Thursday