The next stop on the University of Houston’s road to the Final Four at NRG Stadium has been set.
The Cougars (33-3), top seed in the Midwest region, play the Miami Hurricanes (27-7) in the Sweet 16 on Friday. Here are a few things to know about that matchup:
When and where is the game?
The game will begin Friday at 6:15 PM CT from the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Mo. CBS will televise the game and it will be broadcast on radio at 950 AM. UH alumnus Jim Nantz, in his last NCAA Tournament, will again be called up for CBS with analysts Bill Raftery and Grant Hill and sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson.
How did they get here
Houston defeated No. 16 Northern Kentucky 63-52 in the first round and then beat No. 9 Auburn 81-64 in the second round in Birmingham, Alabama. round and then upset no. 4 Indiana 85-69.
According to FiveThirtyEight.com, the probability of UH defeating Miami is 79%, with the Cougars’ probability of winning the championship at 27%, the best of any team left. Alabama, the other seed no. 1 still alive, is next at 20 percent.
Sweet 16 story
This will be UH’s 15th all-time Sweet 16 appearance and fourth straight dating back to 2019 (there was no NCAA Tournament in 2020 due to COVID-19).
Miami appears in its fifth Sweet 16 and makes back-to-back appearances for the first time in program history. The Hurricanes made the Elite Eight once last year when they lost to eventual national champion Kansas.
It’s been a while
Friday will mark the 15th game all-time between the Cougars and Hurricanes (UH leads 9-5), but they haven’t played since February 20, 1971, a 99-93 UH win in South Florida. Houston has won the last five matches of the series.
It may just be a coincidence, but the Cougars’ path to the Final Four has always been through the Midwest region. All six of their Final Four trips have been through the Midwest, including the 2021 tournament which was played out of the Indianapolis bubble instead of sites across the nation.
The Cougars have played a regional in Kansas City twice, beating Memphis and Villanova in 1983 to reach the Final Four. Twenty-six years later, UH lost to Kentucky in the 2019 Sweet 16.