Two-seeded Houston locked down Syracuse in the Sweet 16, while 12-seeded Oregon State knocked Loyola out of the tournament. Both teams have shown great defense ahead of the first Elite 8 matchup of the tournament.
Tipoff is set for tonight at 7:15 p.m. ET.
Houston shows defensive dominance in win over Syracuse
The Cougars went into the Sweet 16 with defense as the teams strength. It showed. Syracuse only managed to put 46 points against Kelvin Sampson’s team.
Houston did not light up the score board in the 62-46 win, and they did not need to.
When talking about his teams defense following their win over Syracuse, Sampson emphasized the importance of everyone being in the right spot.
The Cougars have not allowed a team to put up more than 60 points in this tournament. Tonight’s matchup could be another low-scoring game.
Oregon State eliminates Loyola
Loyola Chicago had everyone’s attention following their win over number one Illinois. However, Oregon State’s win over Loyola showed that this Cinderella team deserves to be here. Similar to Sampson’s philosophy, head coach Wayne Tinkle is big on defense. So far his team has shown great balance on offense and defense.
They have given up 56, 70 and 58 points so far this tournament. On Offense, the Beavers have been equally efficient. Putting up 70, 80 and 65 points.
Tinkle understands that Houston is the two seed for a reason and it is not just because of their defense.
Winner will face a top-three team in Final Four
While Oregon State is one of the last two Cinderella teams left, UCLA is the 11 seed, their path to the finals is only getting tougher. The winner tonight will take on the South’s winner, which will either be number one Baylor or third-seeded Arkansas.
Baylor has cruised into the final eight, while Arkansas narrowly escaped Oral Roberts in a last second win.