Tale of the Tape: Keys for UH and Syracuse in the Sweet 16 tonight

Cougars, Orange tip at 8:55 p.m. tonight in Indy

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)

INDIANAPOLIS – The weekend has finally arrived here in Indy. While this city is not overloaded with the masses that normally accompany a site for the NCAA Tournament it still feels special.

Small crowds allowed inside the arenas? No problem. UH is here and two wins from a return trip to the Final Four that would end a 37 year drought.

When he was hired, Kelvin Sampson told UH Alum and Board of Regent Chair Tilman Fertitta over a lunch he had a big plan and a goal that was attainable.

“I told him I believe we can win a national championship here,” said Sampson this. “He looked up from his phone and that caught his attention. Not long after, he wrote a 20 million check for our new building with his name on it.”

Tonight Sampson will bring his Cougars to the historic Hinkle Fieldhouse to take on the 11th seeded Syracuse club that is on a Cinderella type run after finishing 8th in the ACC.

What have the Orange done in March Madness you ask? Wins over No. 6 seed San Diego State and a 3rd seeded West Virginia club is all you need to know. These guys are good, they have a star in Buddy Boeheim and they play a tough zone defense that will drive any team nuts.

Here are some keys to watch for tonight .

HOUSTON COUGARS ( 26-3)