Cougars Ready to Go in NIT First Round

March 13, 2017

AKRON ZIPS (26-8 • 14-4 MAC East)
at HOUSTON COUGARS (21-10 • 12-6 American)
Time 6:30 p.m. • Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Doors open at 5 p.m.
Location H&PE Arena (8,100) • Houston
Tickets BUY Tickets
Television ESPNU
Alex Faust, play-by-play
Reid Gettys, analyst
Radio KPRC 950 AM
Jeremy Branham, play-by-play
Elvin Hayes, analyst
• Pregame show begins at 6:15 p.m.
Live Stats GameTracker
Game Notes Houston Notes
Akron Notes
The American Notes
Social Media Facebook   Twitter    Instagram

HOUSTON -- The University of Houston Men's Basketball program returns to the postseason when it plays host to Akron at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, in the NIT First Round inside the Health & Physical Education Arena on the campus of Texas Southern.

Playing as the No. 2 seed in the California Quadrant, the Cougars will meet the Zips for the first time in the postseason and only the third time in school history. The all-time series is tied at 1-1 with Akron taking the most recent victory on Dec. 3, 1994 in Ohio.

The Cougars (21-10 • 12-6) earned their invitation to the postseason by posting the program's 21st 21-win season in school history and finishing in the American Athletic Conference, which boasted nationally ranked Cincinnati and SMU. Entering Wednesday's game, Houston has won eight of its last 11 games.

The Cougars are led by one of the most explosive backcourts in the nation. Junior guard Rob Gray leads the Cougars and the American Athletic Conference with 20.3 points per game, while senior guard Damyean Dotson is one of only two players to rank among the league's top-11 leaders in both scoring and rebounding.

Both Cougars were named to the All-American Athletic Conference First Team, making Houston the only school with two First-Team honorees.

This will be the first time the Cougars have hosted a game in Texas Southern's H&PE Arena. The team is scheduled to play several games in this facility during the 2017-18 season as Hofheinz Pavilion undergoes a $60 million renovation to become the Fertitta Center for the 2018-19 campaign.

Tickets for the NIT First Round are now on sale at UHCougars.com and at the Houston Athletics Ticket Office.

All seating will be General Admission. General Admission Adult tickets can be purchased for $10 with General Admission Youth (18 and under) tickets selling for only $4. College students are admitted FREE with their valid college ID.

To purchase tickets, fans can click here, visit uhcougars.com/tickets, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and follow the appropriate links or call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647).

This marks the 11th time and the second straight season that Houston has been selected for the NIT during its history. It is only the second time in school history that the Cougars will compete in the NIT in consecutive seasons and the first time since 2005 and 2006.

The Cougars have posted a 5-10 all-time record during their NIT history. A year ago, Houston dropped an 81-62 decision at Georgia Tech on March 16, 2016.

Wednesday's game will be the fourth time that Houston has hosted an NIT game with the Cougars posting a 3-0 record during those previous contests. The Cougars have not hosted an NIT game since taking a 77-67 win over BYU on March 15, 2006, inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

Fans can watch Wednesday's game on ESPNU with Alex Faust calling the play-by-play action and Houston great Reid Gettys providing analysis. Fans can see the game online by visiting WatchESPN and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.

Fan can listen to Wednesday's game with Jeremy Branham calling the action and Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes providing analysis on KPRC 950 AM or by clicking here. The pregame show begins at 6:15 p.m., Wednesday. A subscription to Houston All-Access is required to hear the game online.

• With a win against Akron, Houston will face the winner of the (3) BYU-(6) UT Arlington game in the NIT Second Round. That game time and date will be announced soon.
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.

To join the 50-50 Club, fans can call 713-743-9742 or email UHMensBasketball@uh.edu. For more information about the 50-50 Club, levels of giving and benefits, fans can click here.

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.



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