Cougars ready for Sweet Sixteen challenge

Houston faces Kentucky with spot in Elite 8 on the line


Houston – The Houston Cougars have proven all season long to be ready for any challenge in front of them. Normally in the NCAA Tournament, the challenges become greater as a team advances. That will be the case as the Cougars take the court Friday night to face Kentucky for their first Sweet Sixteen game in 35 years.

At, 33-3, Houston doesn’t lack confidence at all.

"Out of 352 schools, everybody can be beaten and they (Kentucky) are just another team,” forward Breaon Brady said. 

“We’re not playing ‘Kentucky,’ we’re playing (Ashton) Hagans, Reid Travis and (PJ) Washington. At the end of the day, if we stick to our principles, it’s going to be a good game and the world’s going to see what’s going to happen.”

The Cougars are known as a team that lays it all on the floor and plays relentless hard-nosed defense. That’s what they plan to bring the court in this game, like any other. 

"We play super hard, super aggressive,” Brady added.

“We are going to win most of our games with defense and rebounding. That’s our biggest strength.” 

“Just playing Houston Cougar basketball. That’s what we’ve done all year and we have been successful,” freshman Nate Hinton said.

“Kentucky is an elite team, and we have to play hard. But that’s what Houston Cougars do.”

At this stage of the tournament, Kentucky coach John Calipari hopes his team understands what’s on the line and what they are up against. 

“I say that in that every team in this tournament has something to lose. Your season ends,” Calipari said.

"We're all in the same boat. You know, hopefully, our team understands how good, how well coached, how balanced, how deep Houston is, or it will be us going home.”