Houston Reaches Sweet 16 in Dallas

Mylik Wilson #8 of the Houston Cougars
Mylik Wilson #8 of the Houston Cougars shoots the ball against the Texas A&M Aggies in the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. | Image by Justin Ford/Getty Images

The 2024 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament wrapped up its second round on Sunday, and one in-state team has reached the Sweet 16.

The Houston Cougars, the No.1 seed in the South Region, survived an upset bid from No.9-seed Texas A&M on Sunday night in Memphis, moving on to the Sweet 16 for the fourth consecutive season with a 100-95 overtime win after the Aggies went on a 13-3 run over the final 1:17 of regulation to force the extra period.

A&M threatened late in the overtime while Houston adjusted after having four starters foul out, but the Cougars made some clutch free throws, and the Aggies’ final shot attempts did not fall.

“That’s the perfect record for Houston: having four players foul out and still finding a way to win,” Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson told the media during a postgame press conference. “One of the things I kept hearing was how much better Texas A&M was from the last time that we played them and how maybe we weren’t, and they were right. Texas A&M is a lot better than the first time we played them. … But as good as they played, we had the best player on the floor in Jamal Shead, and sometimes, that’s all you need.”

The state started the tournament with six teams in the field, but TCU and Texas Tech were eliminated in the first round, Texas lost a close game to No.2-seed Tennessee on Saturday night, and Baylor’s comeback against Clemson fell short and was followed by A&M’s loss.

The Cougars will be one of the four teams to come to Dallas to play at the American Airlines Center on Friday. They will face No.5 seed Duke, while No.2 seed Marquette and No.11 seed North Carolina State will play in the other game. The winners will return to the American Airlines Center on Sunday to play for a spot in the Final Four in Glendale, Arizona.

The Sweet 16 begins Thursday night as Clemson faces Arizona and North Carolina faces Alabama in Los Angeles, and a rematch of last year’s national championship between UConn and San Diego State and a matchup between Illinois and Iowa State get going in Boston.

Purdue, Gonzaga, Tennessee, and Creighton will also play Friday in Detroit.

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