AAC Tournament: UConn vs Houston Prediction
UConn vs Houston Preview
To say it has been an up-and-down season for the UConn men’s basketball program would be an understatement–but they can put all of that to rest if they win three more basketball games. After a blistering performance from the three-point line, UConn held off a furious rally with the right plays down the stretch and eliminated South Florida, 80-73, in the first round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament at the FedEx Forum.
The win gives the Huskies a date with the top-seed Houston Cougars, who captured The American regular-season championship with a 29-2 overall record and 16-2 mark in league play. It was the Cougars first regular-season title of any kind since 1992 and the first outright championships since 1984, both in the Southwest Conference.
Houston’s only losses came in early January at Temple and on March 2 at home to UCF. The Cougars defeated UConn on the road in the teams’ only meeting this year, 71-63 on Feb. 14.
Houston’s cast of players have flown under-the-radar all season, but the name Corey Davis Jr. will hit the public come NCAA Tournament time. Obver the last six games, Davis is leading the Cougars with 22.3 points and added 31 against Cincinnati in the regular season finale on Sunday.
Head coach Kelvin Sampson has high praise for Davis:
“Corey Davis is the best two-way player in this league, plays both ends with the same voracity,” Sampson said after the Bearcats game. “Corey’s been consistently good. He never had a bad practice, never had a bad game.”
The Cougars find success because of their defense, senior leadership and backcourt play. They are 10th in the country in scoring defense, holding opponents to 61.6 points per game. Seniors Davis (16.6 ppg) and Galen Robinson (5.1 assists per game) and the junior Brooks (13.7 ppg) lead a backcourt that thrives on dribble penetration and kick-outs for open 3-point looks.
UConn however, is polar opposites—they are young, play fast and focus on offense.
Vital was UConn’s leading scorer against the Cougars in their first meeting, too, connecting for 15 points in the loss.
However, UConn played that game without Adams, their leading scorer who was recovering from a knee injury. His 16.9 points per game were missed, as was his senior leadership.
“We just weren’t ready for the way they were going to bring it, both ends of the court there,” UConn coach Dan Hurley said after that game.
LINE: -10 Houston
Dan’s Bet: -10 Houston
Score Prediction: Houston 77 UConn 60
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