Have the Houston Cougars Played Well or Have their Opponents Played Poorly?
Houston defeated Syracuse 62-46 to advance to the Elite Eight, but it was a game that seemingly set college basketball back a few decades. Syracuse made only 14 field goals — shooting 28% from the field while Houston wasn’t much better, shooting 38.3% from the floor. From beyond the arc, Syracuse shot 5-23 (21.7%), while the Cougars went 7-26 (26.9%).
Defensively, Houston’s ability to take away the three-point was key to their win. The Orange came in averaging 12.3 three-pointers in their last three games, but they struggled to get many open looks against the Cougars. Houston’s length on the perimeter troubled Syracuse and the referees were also more lenient in terms of hand-checking, which also benefited Houston’s physical play.
As poorly as Houston played offensively, it’s unlikely that they would be downgraded in their upcoming game, especially off a win. That’s the reason why they’re as high as an eight-point favorite in their Elite Eight matchup against the Oregon State Beavers. Oregon State has won its last six games and covered and won nine of its last ten games.
This game will be a quick turnaround for the Cougars after devoting much of their time to figuring out how to crack Syracuse’s two-three zone.
Oregon State defeated Loyola University Chicago as a seven-point underdog, so they were almost an afterthought as the team that would advance to the Elite Eight. That creates even more value on Oregon State, considering that Houston’s win against Syracuse has helped inflate the point spread in this matchup.
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