For the first time since 1992, my favorite college basketball team is going to the NCAA tournament!
They beat the C-USA regular season champs and number one seeded UTEP Miners 81-73 to end their 16 game winning streak and take the 2010 C-USA Tournament conference championship for the first time in school history.
They did so despite a 4 for 20 shooting day from NCAA scoring leader Aubrey Coleman
Interestingly enough, my Coogs handed UTEP their last loss back in January at Hofheinz Pavilion.
This one was sweet for us long suffering UH fans. Our program has a proud history with now 17 NCAA tournament appearances and five NCAA Final Four appearances in 1967, 1968, 1982, 1983 and 1984. We played for the NCAA title in 1983 and 1984. It has had some exceptional players wear the red and white such as Hall of Famers Elvin Hayes, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Clyde Drexler.
This year's Coogs overcame a 43-38 halftime deficit and Coleman's ugly shooting day thanks to 28 points from Kelvin Lewis and holding the Miners to 32 percent shooting in the second half.
This is the fourth team that Tom Penders has taken to the NCAA tournament. In another piece of irony, the last time we played in the NCAA tournament we took out a Penders coached Texas team in the Southwest Conference tournament to get there.
Probably one of the many reasons why UT's 'scurred' to play UH in any sport now.
Congratulations to the Cougar men's ballers and may you have a long run in the tournament. Here's hoping it's the beginning of the return of UH to elite level basketball status on the men's side.
The party is definitely starting on Cullen Boulevard and with UH alumni everywhere.
For the first time in 18 years, I'll be paying very close attention to the NCAA tournament selection show.
Houston hosts the South Regional final at Reliant Stadium and it would be nice to see the Coogs go on a long run and crash the party should they be placed in the South Region. It'll also be nice if we get a matchup with Chicken Rick and the UT Wronghorns who've been ducking and dodging us for years.
Eat 'em up!
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