The Coogs arrived in Kansas City Wednesday to compete in the next round of the NCAA Tournament.
They'll face Kentucky Friday after beating Ohio State.
"We definitely put in the time, the work. We definitely earned the right to be here, and that's what makes it that much sweeter," said UH's Galen Robinson, Jr.
The school's celebration was long overdue, 35 years to be exact, since the Cougars have made this trip.
Coogs were ready to celebrate...— Houston Men's Hoops 🏀 🐾 (@UHCougarMBK) March 25, 2019
but tonight @CoachSampsonUH was ready too when he came in the locker room
LOOK OUT, @marchmadness Sweet 16... Here come the Coogs!#ForTheCity #GoCoogs pic.twitter.com/HsB6IAYLvE
It's so special, some feel that this year's team is bringing back the tradition and excitement of the "Phi Slama Jama" era.
"I have gotten calls and texts from all over the country, so people really do notice," said President Renu Khator. "They say athletics are the window to the university, and people say, 'Oh, Houston!' Then they learn a little bit more about Houston."
SEE MORE: UH in Sweet Sixteen brings Phi Slama Jama era echoes
UH will host a watch party for the game versus Kentucky Friday at 6 p.m. at the Fertitta Center.
The Auburn versus North Carolina game will be shown first at 6:30 p.m. followed by the Houston - Kentucky game at 9 p.m.
The event is free.
ORIGINAL STORY: University of Houston defeats Ohio State, earns spot in Sweet 16