AARON's AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
|Time||8 p.m. (CST) Friday, March 9, 2018|
|Location||Amway Center (20,000) Orlando|
Mike Corey, play-by-play
Mark Adams, analyst
|Radio||KPRC 950 AM
Jeremy Branham, play-by-play
Elvin Hayes, analyst
Pregame show begins at 7:45 p.m. (CST)
|Game Notes|| Houston Notes
The American Notes
ORLANDO -- After one of the best regular seasons in decades, the 21st-ranked University of Houston Men's Basketball program opens the postseason when it competes in the Aaron's American Athletic Conference Championship Quarterfinals on Friday night inside the Amway Center.
The Cougars, who have posted a 24-6 overall record and 14-4 mark in The American play to tie for second, will learn their opponent Thursday night. Houston will face the winner of the No. 11 seed ECU-No. 6 seed UCF at 8 p/,/ (CST) Friday.
Under the leadership of 2018 American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year Kelvin Sampson, the 2017-18 Cougars became the 12th team in school history to record 24+ wins in a single with a pair of victories over top-10 opponents.
With an RPI of 19, the Cougars are poised to make their 20th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history and only the second since 1992. Sampson is set to become only the 14th coach in NCAA history to lead 4+ schools to the NCAA Tournament during his career.
The Cougars enter this postseason following an 81-71 win over UConn in the regular-season finale inside H&PE Arena. With that win, Houston posted a perfect 15-0 home record in front of their hometown fans, a first since 1983-84.
Senior guard Rob Gray posted a game-high 30 points in the win against the Huskies, the seventh 30-point game of his career. He currently ranks as The American's career scoring leader, stands at No. 10 among the Cougars' all-time scoring greats and is one of only two players to rank among the league's top-4 leaders in both scoring and rebounding.
Earlier this week, Gray was named to the All-American Athletic Conference for the second straight season and was a USBWA All-District VII performer.
Sophomore guard Armoni Brooks was named The American's Sixth Man of the Year after averaging 10.2 points per game and joins with junior guard Corey Davis Jr. among the nation's top-26 leaders in 3-point field goal percentage, making Houston the only team in the country with that distinction.
Freshman forward Fabian White Jr. was named to the league's All-Rookie Team after leading the Cougars with 30 blocks during the regular season.
UConn brings a 14-16 overall record and 7-10 mark in The American into Sunday's game.
Huskies stand in eighth in the latest American Athletic Conference standings.
In its most recent action, UConn enjoyed a 72-66 win over Temple on Senior Night in Storrs, Conn., on Wednesday night... Huskies rallied and outscored Temple 40-32 in the second half.
Against Temple, guard Jalen Adams led all players with 25 points, including 5-of-9 from behind the arc, and eight assists... Forward Terry Larrier added 13 points with seven assists, and guard Antwoine Anderson finished with 10 points... Guard Christian Vital totaled seven points with a game-high 12 rebounds, four assists and two steals.
This season, Adams leads the Huskies with 18.4 points and 4.6 assists per game... Vital stands second on the team with 14.7 points per game but leads the Huskies with 5.4 rebounds per contest... Larrier ranks third with 13.8 points per game.
Head Coach Kevin Ollie is in his sixth season as head coach at UConn and overall as an NCAA collegiate head coach.
Has compiled a 127-77 record at UConn and during his career.
Ollie is 3-5 against Houston during his career... Ollie has posted a 2-4 record against Houston Head Coach Kelvin Sampson during their careers.
1995 graduate of UConn.
Fans can watch Friday's game live on ESPNU with Mike Corey calling the play-by-play action and Mark Adams providing analysis. Fans can see the game online by visiting WatchESPN.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.
Fans can hear Friday's game live on KPRC 950 AM with Jeremy Branham calling the play-by-play action and Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes providing analysis. The pregame show begins at 8:45 p.m. (CST), Friday.
Pirates finished 11th in the American Athletic Conference standings and will compete as the No. 11 seed at the Championship.
In its regular-season finale Sunday, ECU dropped a 90-70 decision at Memphis... It was the Pirates' fifth straight loss.
Against Memphis, freshman guard Shawn Williams led ECU with 17 points, while junior guard Isaac Fleming totaled 16 points with a team-high six assists... Senior guard B.J. Tyson finished with nine points and a team-high five rebounds.
This season, Tyson leads the Pirates with 15.0 points per game... Fleming is second on the team with 12.9 points per game but tops ECU with 5.0 assists per contest... Williams ranks third with 12.2 points per game... Junior forward Kentrell Barkley is a close fourth at 12.0 points per game and leads the team with 7.3 rebounds per game.
Head Coach Michael Perry is in his first season as head coach at ECU and his sixth season overall as an NCAA collegiate head coach.
Perry took over as ECU's interim head coach on Nov. 29 following the resignation of Jeff Lebo.
Has compiled an 8-15 record at ECU and is 70-87 during his career... Previously built a 62-75 record at Georgia State (2002-07).
Perry is 0-2 against Houston during his career with previous meetings coming during the 2017-18 season.
Perry 0-3 against Houston Head Coach Kelvin Sampson during their careers... In addition to the two meetings earlier this season, the two coaches first met during the 2002-03 season in Sampson's Oklahoma tenure and Perry's first season at Georgia State.
1981 graduate of Richmond.
UCF brings an 18-12 overall record and 9-9 mark in The American into Sunday's game.
Knights finished sixth in the American Athletic Conference standings and will compete as the No. 6 seed at the Championship.
UCF enjoyed a 60-51 home win in its regular-season finale against Tulane on March 4 in Orlando.
Against Tulane, guard B.J. Taylor led all players with 19 points, thanks to an 8-of-12 performance from the free throw line... Dayon Griffin came off the bench to post 13 points with five rebounds, while forward A.J. Davis added 11 points and tied with Taylor for team-high honors with six rebounds.
This season, Taylor leads UCF with 15.5 points per game... Davis ranks second on the team with 12.4 points per game but tops the Knights with 8.0 rebounds per contest... Terrell leads the team with 2.9 assists per game.
Head Coach Johnny Dawkins is in his second season at UCF and his 10th season overall as an NCAA collegiate head coach.
Has compiled a 42-24 record at UCF and is 198-139 during his career.... Previously built a 156-115 record at Stanford (2008-16).
Dawkins is 2-2 against Houston during his career, including a 1-2 mark with UCF.
Dawkins 1-2 against Houston Head Coach Kelvin Sampson during their careers with all three previous meetings coming during Dawkins' UCF and Sampson's Houston careers.
1986 graduate of Duke.
With a win in Friday's Quarterfinals, the Cougars advance to the Semifinals, where they will face the winner out of No. 2 seed Wichita State, No. 7 seed Temple or No. 10 seed Tulane.
That game can be seen on CBS and be heard on KPRC 950 AM.
JOIN the 50-50 CLUB
Fans are invited to join the 50-50 Club to support Houston Men's Basketball. 50-50 Club members help fund program necessities and enhance the experience for our student-athletes.
Fans who join the 50-50 Club will receive embroidered team apparel, a signed basketball, invitations to practice, a tour of the $25 million Guy V. Lewis Development Facility, regular updates about the program and much more.
Fans can receive updates by following @UHCougarMBK on Twitter and catch up with the latest news and notes on the team by clicking LIKE on the team's Facebook and Instagram pages.