TULSA, Okla. – The No. 3-seeded University of Houston Cougars take on Georgia State Friday night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Here are the keys to the game for a Coogs' win:
Get off to a strong start
Georgia State University is 22-0 when leading at the half this season. Momentum is everything in the tournament and the Cougars need to set the tone early to avoid playing catch-up in the second half and leaving the game in the referees' hands with a tight game situation.
Lockdown 3-point defense
The Panthers are shooting 38.8 percent from beyond the arc, which is a program record. Jeff Thomas, Devin Mitchell and Malik Benlevi all rank among Georgia State Top 10 all-time in career 3-point field goals made.
The Cougars have to play their brand of basketball and out-hustle the Panthers if they want to avoid an upset. Houston can’t allow GSU second-chance points. It has got to be aggressive on the boards without getting into foul trouble.
Corey Davis Jr. must have a big game
Can the Cougars win without him leading the way scoring? Sure. But his production on offense is a game changer and something that could prove to be vital to avoid a first-round loss.