No. 1 Houston Cougars pull away from East Carolina to tip off their AAC tournament

Houston will face the winner of Cincinnati-Temple in Saturday's AAC semifinals.

KTRK logo
Friday, March 10, 2023
Tap for ABC13 Houston 24/7 Live Stream
Watch Eyewitness News and ABC13 originals around the clock

FORT WORTH, Texas (KTRK) -- The top-ranked Houston Cougars men's basketball program is most assured a No. 1 seed during the March Madness tournament regardless of whether they go wire-to-wire in the American Athletic Conference tournament.

But they'll definitely take clinching an automatic bid at the expense of their soon-to-be former conference mates.

The video above is the ABC13 Houston's 24/7 Streaming Channel.

Marcus Sasser scored a game-high 30 points to help UH (30-2) pull away from the team's opening matchup with East Carolina, 60-46, in the AAC tourney quarterfinals on Friday. Two of those points came on a heads-up break away slam when Sasser went unopposed for a dunk.

The victory marks the program's 30th win of the season, which gives Houston back-to-back 30-win seasons for the first time since the Phi Slama Jama era.

Houston guard Marcus Sasser (0) blocks a shot by East Carolina guard RJ Felton (3) during the the American Athletic Conference Tournament, March 10, 2023, in Fort Worth, Texas.
AP Photo/Ron Jenkins

Jamal Shead added 12 points for the Coogs, while J'Wan Roberts went scoreless but proved to be a beast on the boards with 12 rebounds.

Houston was actually up by just two points at halftime before Sasser's scoring onslaught in the second half.

The Coogs also improved to 14-0 this season in games played away from Fertitta Center. Houston actually claimed a victory on the same floor earlier in the season in a neutral court game vs. St. Mary's back in December.

What's next for UH? The Coogs are scheduled to play their semifinal game on Saturday at 2 p.m. against Cincinnati.

That game will be broadcast on ABC13 sister network ESPN2.