No. 1 Houston Cougars unable to overcome hot-shooting Miami, exit March Madness

The Coogs just miss their third straight Elite Eight.

KTRK logo
Saturday, March 25, 2023
Coogs despondent after Sweet 16 loss and despite 33-win season
Even with a 33-win season, which is the most in program history, the UH Cougars were despondent knowing they were two wins away from playing in a hometown Final Four.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Final Four in Houston just got a bit less festive, at least for Cougars fans.

An ugly shooting night for the University of Houston, coupled with a hot night from the field for the Miami Hurricanes, did in the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

UH's road to a national championship ended Friday night in the Sweet Sixteen, 89-75.

Four Coogs scored in double digits, but the Hurricanes' scoring output was the most allowed by UH all season.

SEE RELATED STORY: New exhibition in Houston merges art and basketball into immersive, playable court

Houston's elimination wasn't the only surprise on Friday. Alabama, which entered the tournament as the No. 1 overall seed in March Madness, was defeated by San Diego State 30 minutes before UH's game went final.

This marks the first time in tournament history that no No. 1 seeds have made it to the Elite Eight.

Houston was in the Sweet 16 for a fourth straight time, had won 15 of its last 16 games and had the season-long goal of playing in next week's Final Four in its home city.

"Unfortunately, one off-night and you go home in this tournament," Cougars coach Kelvin Sampson said. "We just never could get a foothold. We kept climbing, and we'd get ahead of them, and then we just couldn't put stops together."

Freshman Jarace Walker, who unofficially declared for the NBA Draft after the game, led the Cougars with 16 points. Jamal Shead added 15 and All-American Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark had 14 apiece for the Cougars, who shot just 37% overall and 29% from distance.

"It was an amazing run," Sasser said. "Came up short, but the time that we got to spend throughout these months, I couldn't have asked for nothing better."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.