Michigan will play Houston in its Saturday, March 17 NCAA Tournament game after beating Montana in the first round on Thursday.
The No. 6-seed Cougars squeaked by San Diego State, 67-65, in an earlier game on Tuesday. The winner of Michigan-Houston will play the winner of a second game that will feature two teams that haven’t played yet. Texas A&M vs. Providence or North Carolina vs. Lipscomb in the first round will decide which teams get to compete to play the winner of Houston-Michigan. Those games will both take place on Friday.
Michigan vs. Houston on Saturday will take place at approximately 9:40 p.m. ET on TBS, and will stream live on NCAA.com. The time and TV channel have not been announced, but we’ll update this post when they are.
Houston is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who’s in his fourth season there after stints at Oklahoma and Indiana. His Cougars went 24-6 this regular season in the American Athletic Conference, and beat UCF and Wichita State in the AAC Tournament before falling to Cincinnati by a 56-55 score in the conference title game.
Houston is led by senior point guard Rob Gray, who went for a career-high 39 points in the Cougars’ first-round win over San Diego State. He averages 19 points and 4.5 assists per game on 50-percent shooting inside the arc and 35 percent from 3-point range.
ROB GRAY gives Houston the lead & hits a new career-high with 39 PTS! pic.twitter.com/LPtUCUXY6n
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 16, 2018
Houston’s strength is its defense, which ranks 15th in the nation in KenPom’s efficiency metrics. The Cougars make things hard when opponents drive to the hoop, as teams have the eighth-worst opponent field-goal percentage when playing Houston. This should make for a low-scoring game, but Houston might not have an answer for Michigan star Moe Wagner. 6-foot-10 Chris Harris is Houston’s only player over 6-foot-8, but he only plays in 12 percent of the team’s minutes.