Houston tops Oregon State, reaches 1st Final Four since ’84
Yes, Houston is going back to the Final Four for the first time since the famed “Phi Slama Jama” era after Monday night's 67-61 win against Oregon State. And Houston knocked down enough free throws late while holding Oregon State without a basket during a critical 3 1/2 minutes. Fittingly, it was DeJon Jarreau — the American Athletic Conference's defensive player of the year who led the effort that stymied Oregon State star Ethan Thompson — who was named the most outstanding player of the Midwest Region. “It was right there within our grasp with the effort we showed in the second half,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said. They held the Beavers to 35% shooting in the first half before Oregon State found some openings.
What To Watch: men's, women's regional finals start Monday
... Oregon State opponents are shooting just 31.3% overall and 23.1% from 3-point range in the NCAA Tournament. That Missouri squad lost a regional final to an Oklahoma team coached by Kelvin Sampson, who’s now at Houston. … Arkansas is in a regional final for the first time since 1995, when it lost to UCLA in the championship game. … Arkansas’ Justin Smith is averaging 20.3 points and 11 rebounds in three NCAA Tournament games. Arizona and Indiana are both in an NCAA regional final for the first time.
Houston locks in on defense, beats Syracuse 62-46 in NCAAs
Now it's taken coach Kelvin Sampson's team somewhere new: the program's deepest NCAA Tournament run since the days of Olajuwon, Drexler and the famed “Phi Slama Jama." That sent the second-seeded Cougars through to their first regional final in 37 years, earning a matchup with No. Houston (27-3) came in holding opponents to a national-low 37.3% shooting, and then harassed Syracuse (18-10) into just 28% (14 for 50). “It’s the best defense that that we’ve seen this year and they deserved to win,” coach Jim Boeheim said. Syracuse had shot at least 52% each time while making 29 3-pointers — but there would be no repeat of that unexpected 2016 Final Four run thanks to Houston's defense.
Mark's long 3-pointer at buzzer lifts Houston to 67-64 win
Houston guard Tramon Mark, right, celebrates his game-winning 3-point basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Memphis, Sunday, March 7, 2021, in Houston. 9 Houston a 67-64 win over Memphis on Sunday. The Tigers shot 47%, including 8 of 21 on 3-pointers. AdBIG PICTUREMemphis: The Tigers missed a chance to improve their NCAA Tournament chances with a marquee win. … Memphis shot 10 of 20 from the free-throw line.
No. 11 Houston uses big first half to cruise past UCF 75-58
11 Houston used a dominant first half to cruise to a 75-58 win over UCF on Sunday. Houston (11-1, 6-1 American Athletic Conference) won its fourth straight game since its loss to Tulsa. “It was a great game for us,” Houston guard DeJon Jarreau said. “They made a lot of shots to start the first half off and kind of knocked us back,” UCF coach Johnny Dawkins said. Sampson passed former Houston coach Tom Penders.