Mattress Mack buys block of tickets so UH students can take part in March Madness

"Houston Life" shares that Mattress Mack is helping send students to watch the University of Houston play in the Sweet 16 of March Madness.

HOUSTON – Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale has done it again. Last year he made headlines when he chartered a flight to Indianapolis for University of Houston students to watch their basketball team play in the Final Four.

Houston Life staff learned, he’s purchased a block of tickets so UH students can see the Cougars play in the Sweet 16 in San Antonio. Mike Pede, Associate Vice President of Alumni Relations at the University of Houston tweeted about the kind gesture this morning. Pede told Houston Life that Mack purchased 100 tickets, each cost about $125. The tickets were handed out Tuesday through the Alumni Association. According to Pede, the tickets were gone in under 20 minutes.

Houston Life spoke with Mattress Mack Wednesday. “I’m a big fan. Both my daughters went to U of H. And whatever I can do to support the Cougars, I want to get a lot of fans down there,” said Mack. He added, “The Cougars have a home court advantage. And those tickets came up, I gladly bought them and gave them to the students right away.”

More tickets might come available and Mack wants to grab those up too. “Yeah, they get more tickets back from the other teams that are obviously much further away from San Antonio... I’m gonna buy those and give them to some Cougar fans here in Houston or give them to the students so whatever I can do to support the Cougars I’m all in.”

Last year Mack sent fans to Indianapolis via a charter plane. He plans to do the same if Houston makes it the Final Four again, this time in New Orleans.

“It’s a lot easier to get the fans to New Orleans. I already have already got a lot of tickets for the Final Four in New Orleans. So hopefully we’ll get the Cougars through the Sweet 16 round in San Antonio and get them to New Orleans,” He added, “Yes we’ll send a plane or a bunch of buses to the Final four in New Orleans.”

Mack has also made headlines for his large wagers on sporting events.

“My bracket is kind of destroyed. Best to get those Cougars in there so we’ll see what happens.”

Mack admitted he hasn’t made a big wager in the NCAA tournament, “No, no big wagers right now. I’m just wagering with my heart on the Houston Cougars... hopefully it’ll be the Cougars year to bring home a national championship to Houston. It’d be very exciting for all of us.”

About the Authors:

Award-winning broadcast journalist covering local, regional, national and international stories. Recognized in the industry for subject matter expertise including: Legal/Court Research, the Space Industry, Education, Environmental Issues, Underserved Populations and Data Visualization.

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.