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University of Houston Cougars win share of AAC Title

The Houston Cougars are American Athletic Conference Champions for the second season in a row, clinching a tie at the top of the conference at 13-5.
The Houston Cougars are American Athletic Conference Champions for the second season in a row, clinching a tie at the top of the conference at 13-5. (KPRC 2)

HOUSTON – The University of Houston Cougars are American Athletic Conference Champions for the second season in a row, clinching a tie at the top of the conference at 13-5. Houston’s revenge-game win at home over Memphis aligned with a Tulsa loss, meaning Kelvin Sampson and his guys could cut down the nets.

Here’s a look at the Cougars as they head into the AAC Championship.

Beasts on the boards

The Cougars are #3 in the nation in offensive rebounds per game, putting up an average of 14.4. There is no team better in the league at getting the ball back after a miss, and the Cougars use that to get plenty of second-chance points. Houston did that a ton against Memphis in their win, piling up 19 offensive rebounds. Houston is also third in the country in total rebounds.

“Not a great shooting team"

Kelvin Sampson likes to say this year’s Cougars are not a great shooting team. I think I’ve heard him say it several times, but while the Cougars aren’t a “great” shooting team, they aren’t a bad shooting team. The Cougars are shooting 33.7% from three, meaning they’re shooting with enough efficiency to average what would be 50%+ if they were taking twos. The Cougars have three high-volume players shooting 35.8% or better. Four Cougars have at least 40 threes on the season.

The road ahead

Houston’s road to the AAC Championship in Fort Worth looks like this:

- Friday: Quarterfinal vs. 7/10 Winner (Temple or SMU)

- Saturday: Semifinal vs. 3/(6/11) Winner (Tulsa vs. Memphis or ECU)

- Sunday: Tournament Final