DEEP RUN FOR COOGS?

Here's why Houston sports fans should savor Cougars' journey in NCAA Tournament

Here's why Houston sports fans should savor Cougars' journey in NCAA Tournament
Go Coogs! Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

There's a memorable scene in the movie Casino in which Robert De Niro's character, Sam Rothstein, is walking through the Tangiers Casino. In those opening moments his narrative highlights how he's now being admired & respected, the days of having a seedy reputation have "washed away" and he now has a fresh outlook and perspective. The same can be true next week as the University of Houston begins their journey, navigating the tournament field in Indianapolis. Imagine if over the next 2 1/2 weeks the city of Houston can wash away it's regrettable sports sins. A run to the Final Four would do just that.

The sin of allowing J.J. Watt to land in Arizona of all places. For the record, the Cardinals haven't actually won a playoff game in 5 years, and have only two playoff wins since January 2009. How about the sin of watching a watered down version of a previous championship caliber club in the Houston Astros? Astros fans, get ready for the growing pains of replacing Springer at the top of the lineup with Myles Straw whose on base percentage is going to be nothing short of dreadful. Speaking of dreadful, well, there's the Houston Rockets. Aside from a potential fire sale at the upcoming NBA trade deadline, they aren't relevant in the association any longer.

The best thing going right now in the city (as we attempt to drown out the Deshaun Soap Opera), are Kelvin Sampson and the Cougars. The administration knows exactly what it has, which is refreshing, recently rewarding Sampson with a contract extension that will keep him here through the 2026-27 season. For Sampson it's his 6th consecutive 20 plus win campaign, and throughout the state of Texas, the Cougars under his watch have won more games than any other D1 program, including Baylor who's been solid of late.

Assuming Sampson and his staff can keep his team under wraps in Indy, avoiding all the Steak and Shake handcrafted burgers and fries, (I personally like a side of the Chili Mac Supreme) they should advance with ease during the opening rounds. In recent days you've heard terms floating around campus such as "poised for a deep run." U of H is going to the Final Four, and during the magical ride the next few weeks, be sure to savor it, because for our city, this is the best it's going to get for a very, very long time.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Can the Astros secure a much-needed series sweep? Composite Getty Image.

Houston Astros (33-39, second in the AL West) vs. Chicago White Sox (19-54, fifth in the AL Central)

Chicago; Tuesday, 8:10 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Framber Valdez (5-4, 3.99 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 51 strikeouts); White Sox: Jonathan Cannon (0-1, 4.56 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 24 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Astros -209, White Sox +173; over/under is 8 1/2 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Chicago White Sox host the Houston Astros on Tuesday to start a three-game series.

Chicago has a 12-23 record in home games and a 19-54 record overall. The White Sox have gone 6-14 in games decided by one run.

Houston has a 33-39 record overall and a 14-20 record in road games. Astros hitters have a collective .418 slugging percentage to rank third in the AL.

The teams meet Tuesday for the first time this season.

TOP PERFORMERS: Gavin Sheets has 14 doubles, a triple and seven home runs while hitting .233 for the White Sox. Andrew Vaughn is 15-for-43 with a double and four home runs over the past 10 games.

Yordan Alvarez has 16 doubles, a triple and 14 home runs for the Astros. Jose Altuve is 14-for-40 with two doubles and two home runs over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: White Sox: 4-6, .247 batting average, 3.88 ERA, outscored by three runs

Astros: 5-5, .257 batting average, 3.78 ERA, outscored opponents by five runs

INJURIES: White Sox: Max Stassi: 60-Day IL (hip), Dominic Leone: 60-Day IL (right elbow), Dominic Fletcher: 10-Day IL (shoulder), Mike Clevinger: 15-Day IL (elbow), Eloy Jimenez: 10-Day IL (hamstring), Yoan Moncada: 60-Day IL (abductor), Jimmy Lambert: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Matt Foster: 60-Day IL (elbow), Jesse Scholtens: 60-Day IL (elbow)

Astros: Cristian Javier: 60-Day IL (forearm), Justin Verlander: day-to-day (neck), Kyle Tucker: 10-Day IL (shin), Jose Urquidy: 60-Day IL (forearm), Oliver Ortega: 60-Day IL (elbow), Bennett Sousa: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Penn Murfee: 60-Day IL (elbow), Luis Garcia: 60-Day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 60-Day IL (elbow), Kendall Graveman: 60-Day IL (elbow)

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome