Houston Cougars end successful Big 12 debut season on bittersweet note in the Sweet 16

ByGreg Bailey and Matt Guillermo KTRK logo
Saturday, March 30, 2024
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DALLAS, Texas (KTRK) -- The No. 1 Houston Cougars overcame the challenges of losing Terrence Arceneaux and Joseph Tugler to injuries during the regular season, but they had little time to acclimate to Jamal Shead's in the first half of their loss against the Duke Blue Devils on Friday.

The Big 12 regular season champions stayed competitive with the five-time national champions in Dallas, where a 54-51 loss derailed Houston's March Madness run.

The 6-foot-4-inch All-American, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and conference Player of the Year took an awkward step on a drive to the basket, rolled his right ankle, and went down in pain.

Shead left the game with 6:38 left in the first half, having to be helped off by two trainers.

The game broadcast reported before halftime that Shead was questionable to return. X-rays were negative for any extensive damage, and the team called it a severely spained ankle.

The broadcast stated that the door was open for a return, but he remained on the bench throughout the second half.

Houston's defense still forced 14 Duke turnovers.

This marks the second straight Sweet Sixteen exit for the program.

More coverage on UH's March Madness run

Houston's Jamal Shead reacts after going down while driving to the basket against Duke during a Sweet 16 college basketball game in Dallas on Friday, March 29, 2024.
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez