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Friday, April 28, 2017

Sports

Cougars to face Cincinnati in first round of AAC Tournament


Fresh off being named to the American All-Freshman team, guard Jasmyne Harris looks to lead the Cougars in the AAC tournament Friday night. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

After wrapping up the regular season on Monday, the Cougars head to Connecticut for the  American Athletic Conference Championship Tournament.

Holding the No. 10 seed, the Cougars are set to face No. 7 Cincinnati on Friday evening. Coming in with a 11-18 record, 4-12 in the AAC, the Cougars are seeded ahead of only East Carolina.

The Cougars are 1-3 all-time in AAC tournaments and 26-35 all-time in conference tournaments.

Houston faces a Bearcat squad that finished the regular season at 16-13 overall but only 7-9 in conference play. The Cougars played the Bearcats twice in the regular season, losing both and getting outscored 85-64 in the first meeting.

The Cougars played significantly better in their second contest, however, losing by only nine points on Feb. 11.

The Bearcats are coming off of a 3-game losing streak, all against opponents the Cougars beat this season. Cincinnati holds the all-time advantage of 3-1 against Houston on a neutral court, though.

If Houston wants to add to Cincinnati’s loss column, they absolutely must be consistent with their offensive play.

Inconsistencies and erratic play throughout the season have cost the Cougars multiple games. But should they hold it together and play a full four quarters, they stand a chance to defeat Cincinnati.

The winner of this game would face-off against Temple, which is ranked No. 2.

But it comes as no surprise that the ultimate championship favorite is No. 1-ranked UConn. The Huskies won four straight national championships and currently hold the longest winning streak in NCAA history at 104 games.

This season alone they are 29-0, winning each game by an average of 40 points, and only four of those games were within double digits.

The Huskies have faced and defeated every other top five team in the championship, defeating them by an average score of 90.3-54.7. Of the five, Tulane is the only one to end up within 20, losing by only three points.

The first round match against the Bearcats will tip off at 5 p.m. Friday and will be shown on ESPN3. If the Cougars win, the match against Temple is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3.

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