Fred Faour: Despite a rough finish to the regular season, fans should have nothing but positive vibes for the Cougars

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Kevin M Cox/AP/Shutterstock (13779320y) Houston guard Marcus Sasser (0) brings up the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Tulane, in Houston Tulane Basketball, Houston, United States – 22 Feb 2023

Fred Faour: Despite a rough finish to the regular season, fans should have nothing but positive vibes for the Cougars

There is a great series of books by the late Douglas Adams called Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In big, friendly letters, there are two words on the cover:

Don’t Panic.

And Houston fans should not be panicking today for several reasons despite a less-than-stellar effort against Memphis on Sunday in a 75-65 loss. In fact, they should be excited.

1) The game itself was meaningless. UH already had its seeding down, and the last thing you wanted to do was see another injury, like what occurred to Marcus Sasser on Saturday. They did not have the same intensity on defense, especially in the first half. While you never like to see a team mail it in, the game was going to do nothing to help or hurt Houston. Had it been critical, Sasser would have probably played. Instead, he gets more time to heal, and the Cougars will be ready when the tournament starts on Thursday. So this loss doesn’t impact anything.

2) Vegas still believes. The Cougars are the favorites to win it all at 6-1 per bet online. If Coog fan has any pause, then all they have to do is look at what Vegas thinks. The Cougars are followed by Kansas (7-1), Alabama (8-1), UCLA (11-1), and Purdue (12-1). Those are big-boy programs. When in doubt, go with Vegas. They know what they are doing.

3) Finally, a favorable bracket. You never know how the tournament will go, and one bad game can ruin everything. But this bracket sets up nicely for the Cougars. They open with Northern Kentucky, which should be a walkover. After that, it will be Iowa or Auburn, teams UH should have the edge over. The Sweet 16 would likely feature Miami or Indiana, again, teams UH should handle. The interesting game would be for a shot at the Final Four. In the Elite Eight, UH could see No. 3 Xavier, or perhaps the winner between a pair of Texas teams – UT and red-hot A&M are set to meet in the second round. How cool would it be to have an Elite Eight game with UH and one of those two for a shot at the Final Four? Yes, this is a lot of guesswork, but that is what we do with brackets.

So the Cougars may enter off a loss, but the future looks just fine. Sasser should be back by the time the Cougars really need him. It should be a fun ride, so sit back, enjoy, and realize there is no reason to panic.

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