The Houston Cougars played their worst game of the season on Sunday after a shaky effort against Memphis on Saturday. Houston fell to Cincinnati in the finals of the American Conference Tournament on Sunday, losing 69-57.
Still, they landed a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They will face Georgia State in the first round, and most likely No. 6 seed Iowa State in the second. The Cougars will play in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Despite the shaky weekend, the Cougars finished 31-3. Their best player, senior Corey Davis, is dealing with an injury. But if he is OK, they should at least make the Sweet 16. Anything less would be a disappointment.
The Cougars could theoretically get Kentucky in the Sweet 16 and North Carolina in the Elite 8. If they can run that gauntlet, they would make the Final Four.
Several other teams from Texas (and of interest to Houstonians) made the tournament as well:
Prairie View will play in the First Four after winning the SWAC. They face Farleigh Dickinson.
LSU is a three seed and will face Yale in the East Region.
Baylor is a nine seed and will face Syracuse in the West Region.
Texas Tech is a three seed in the West and will face Northern Kentucky.
Abilene Christian (27-6) faces No. 2 seed Kentucky (27-6).
The AAC got in UCF, Cincinnati and Temple in addition to UH. The Big 12 got six, but TCU and Texas failed to get in.
With a new season on the horizon, the Astros have high hopes for 2024 after coming just one game shy of being in the World Series for three consecutive seasons.
If Houston wants to get back to the Fall Classic in 2024, they're going to have to rely on their pitching. Owner Jim Crane believes the club has 8 starting pitchers when Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers Jr. return mid-season.
Which allows several of the starters to move to the bullpen and provide even more depth. Add those guys to Bryan Abreu, Ryan Pressly, and Josh Hader and you have a recipe for success.
Check out the video above as ESPN Houston's Jeremy Branham goes through the entire staff and makes his case for the Astros having the best pitching staff in baseball.
You can listen to The Killer B's with Jeremy Branham and Joel Blank every weekday on ESPN 97.5 & 92.5 from 3 pm - 6 pm!