No. 1 Houston Cougars maintain ranking-best 33% odds to win national title, BPI shows

The Coogs have only two losses, the least among the top 25 teams this week.

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Monday, February 27, 2023
See UH coach Kelvin Sampson get down as No. 1 Coogs win AAC title
The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament has some very famous names, like March Madness and the Big Dance, the latter of which was something the UH Cougars' locker room did as the team clinched its fourth AAC regular season title in the past five years.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The University of Houston men's basketball team continues to make the argument that it should own the No. 1 overall seed in next month's NCAA tournament.

The Cougars maintained their No. 1 ranking in the Associated Press Top 25 after sweeping its two games last week, including a road victory at East Carolina to win the American Athletic Conference regular-season championship outright.

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Houston (27-2) improved to 10-0 this season in games played away from Fertitta Center, which is a key indicator in the Coogs' potential success playing March Madness games on neutral courts.

Of course, it will take four straight victories in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament for Houston's shot at a hometown Final Four appearance. The national semifinal round and the national championship game take place at NRG Stadium on Saturday, April 1 and Monday, April 3, respectively.

How are Houston's chances at cutting down the nets inside NRG? The Men's Basketball Power Index, a computerized measurement of the nation's Division I programs, gives the Coogs the best odds of winning the tourney at 33%.

As of Monday, with about two weeks left before Selection Sunday, ESPN's Bracketology by Joe Lunardi has former UH nemesis, Alabama, as the top overall seed in the 68-team field. Lunardi predicts Houston entering the tourney as an automatic qualifier and the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region.

What's left for Houston? The Coogs host Wichita State on Thursday for their home finale and Senior Night. This game airs on ABC13 sister network ESPN2 at 6 p.m.

UH closes the regular season at Memphis on Sunday, March 5.

The Coogs then move on to the AAC Men's Basketball Championship Tournament in Fort Worth, which tips off on Thursday, March 9. Houston is the No. 1 seed in the tournament and wouldn't begin play until Friday, March 10.

The AAC tournament final, which awards the winner an automatic berth into the Big Dance, is scheduled for Sunday, March 12, at 3:15 p.m. and will air on ESPN.

The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament begins on March 14. If Lunardi's prediction holds, Houston would likely begin their tournament journey on either March 16 or 17.