Houston Cougars basketball stays in top two spots in national polls

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Kevin M Cox/AP/Shutterstock (13774839a) Houston forward J’Wan Roberts, right, is defended by Memphis forward Chandler Lawson during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, in Houston Memphis Basketball, Houston, United States – 19 Feb 2023

Houston Cougars basketball stays in top two spots in national polls

The Houston Cougars basketball team remained at No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches poll and No. 2 in The Associated Press poll following the weekend of conference tournaments across the nation.

Houston fell to Memphis in the American Athletic Conference Tournament championship game. Alabama, who jumped the Cougars in the final AP Poll prior to the NCAA Tournament, won the Southeastern Conference Tournament championship over the weekend.

In the AP Poll, the Crimson Tide received 1,508 points and 48 first-place votes to hold the No. 1 spot. The Cougars garnered 1,404 points and nine first-place votes at No. 2. Purdue moved up to No. 3 in the poll, Kansas fell to fourth and Texas moved up to fifth.

All top four teams in the AP Poll were one seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Across the state, Baylor dropped to No. 11, Texas A&M moved up to No. 17, and TCU remained steady at No. 22.

The Memphis Tigers moved up to No. 24 in the AP Poll. It is the first time all season long that another team in the AAC has been ranked in the top 25 of either poll.

In the coaches poll, the Cougars stayed at No. 1. UH received 777 points, including 21 first-place votes. Alabama moved up to No. 2 with 759 points and eight first-place votes. Purdue moved up to No. 3, Marquette moved up to No. 4, and Kansas dropped to No. 5.

Texas is seventh in the coaches poll, Baylor is at No. 11, Texas A&M is No. 17, and TCU is at No. 23.

In the NCAA Evaluation Tool rankings, Houston remained at No. 1. The Cougars finished the regular season with a 7-2 record in Quad One games. Houston went 8-0 in Quad Two games, both of which played a key factor in UH ending with a higher seed than Kansas in the NCAA Tournament, according to Chris Reynolds, the NCAA Division I men’s basketball committee chair.

Houston will begin its NCAA Tournament run on Thursday in Birmingham, Alabama. The Cougars will face off against 16-seed Northern Kentucky at 8:20 p.m. CT on TNT.

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