More Than a Sports Team: Houston Cougars


Shaun Ukeje, Staff Writer, reflects on how sports has had a tremendous impact on his life.

My favorite team the Houston Cougars has performed extremely well all college basketball season. I go to see family in Houston all the time, and on top of that my oldest brother has been going to Houston for a long time. I love the Astros, Texans, Rockets and everything Houston. Seeing them excel in both football and especially basketball is great to see. The Cougars finished first in their conference, American Athletic Conference. They ended up winning their conference tournament to bid themselves away into March Madness as a fifth seed. Houston won two games in March Madness and as of right now they are in the sweet sixteen. I believe with this team’s tenacity, emphasis on defense and the fast-paced offense will reach the championship.

In their first game of the tournament against the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the cougars created plenty of stops on the defensive end. The Cougars caused the Dragons to turn the ball over 12 times while defending the rim with three blocks. These turnovers create easy fastbreak points and transition threes as the Cougars shot 53% from the field and 47% from three. The simple defensive margin allowed for Houston to beat 12th seed UAB 82-68. In the next game, the Cougars faced the number 4 seed University of Illinois. Illinois has arguably the best big man in the nation in Kofi Cockburn, so playing great interior defense was a must. The Houston Cougars decided to double him in the post which forced the other Fighting Illini to make plays. However, this didn’t go so well for them. Houston forced a whopping 17 turnovers and made Illinois shoot 34% from the field. The immediate disruption to Kofi Cockburn allowed the Cougars to win by double digits, 68-53 advancing to the sweet sixteen.

From all the past results and stats from the Cougars’ previous games, I believe reaching the championship should be the minimum goal for them. They go hard on the glass and their pace of the game is hard to keep up with. Bating first seed, Arizona, will be their toughest matchup, but after that, I believe they should cakewalk into the championship. I believe the only way the cougars can truly lose is if they beat themselves. If they stay consistent in causing havoc on the defensive side of the floor and attacking the boards on the offensive end, then Houston should win March Madness 2022. I feel that the city of Houston and their sports in general never fail me. Houston brings atmosphere and excitement to all their major sports, especially their college programs. I’m very proud to be a fan of the city.