Notice anything different during March Madness? Coogs dish on new basketball

The University of Houston men's basketball team is winning a lot of games in March Madness, and that's nothing new. But one change during the 2022 NCAA men's basketball tournament is one many members of ABC13's audience may have noticed while watching the Coogs on TV: the basketballs.

For the first time ever in the NCAA Tournament, games are played with a new Wilson basketball. According to the manufacturer, the ball has extra grip and is easier to shoot from long range. We can't confirm that. However, we can tell you the new balls are a very bright shade of orange - but you likely already noticed that during the game broadcasts. Wilson says the balls were designed for better on-court visuals and detection.

We asked the Coogs to tell all about the new ball.

"They're kind of rougher than the ones we play with, kind of jam your finger a couple of times," Houston guard Kyler Edwards explained. "I mean, it's basketball. This is the game."

"It's got a bouncy feel to it," Josh Carlton said of the new balls. "If it comes off the rim harder when somebody misses a shot, that's one more opportunity for an offensive rebound. So I'm not complaining."

"I love oranges, and my son thinks this is a basketball because he watches March Madness," Houston assistant coach Kellen Sampson said while holding up an orange. "He'll be two years old in June, so he's sitting there trying to dribble - making orange juice all over the hotel room."

The new ball clearly hasn't been an issue for the Coogs, as they've won their two games this tournament by an average of more than 14 points a game. Houston faces Arizona on Thursday in the regional semifinal.

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