Houston Cougars Conference
College basketball fans in Texas that bleed scarlet and white for the Houston Cougars
get excited during basketball season, when the Cougars are in action on the hardwood. Houston basketball makes the winter
months the most thrilling part of the year to be a Cougars fan, and for good reason. The Cougars hoop it up at the Hofheinz
Pavilion, located on the University of Houston campus in Texas, and the team hosts a throng of American Athletic Conference
competition all throughout basketball season. The Cougars are a constant threat in the NCAA Tournament, and are one of the
top teams in NCAA basketball for Final Four berths.
As a main competitor in the American Athletic Conference, the Houston
Cougars have a constant target on their back as a big threat to other conference basketball teams. The Cougars have big rivals
throughout the state of Texas as well as throughout the American Conference, which makes home games at the Hofheinz Pavilion
all that more exciting. Whether the Cougars are playing the University of Texas Longhorns or any other top ball team, the
hoops action ignites on the court and in the grandstands every time the Houston basketball team takes the court.
Cougars Tournament History
The University of Houston Cougars basketball team has been the school's go-to athletic team
since the 1945-46 season, when the athletic squad first found a home on the university campus. Initially joining the Lone
Star Conference in the NAIA, the Cougars saw postseason action in the NAIA Men's Basketball Tournament in 1946 and 1947, eventually
joining the NCAA and gaining steam on the college circuit in the '50s.
Houston's glory days blossomed under the leadership
of Guy Lewis in the 1950s, starting with the 1955-56 season. Lewis, who also played basketball for the Cougars in college,
coached the team through 27 consecutive winning seasons, including a string of Final Four action in the NCAA Tournament in
the '60s and again in the early '80s. Under Lewis's leadership, star players like Elvin Hayes, Otis Birdsong and Dwight Jones
became some of the most notable college players, also helping the rise in popularity of NCAA basketball thanks to the red-hot
action on the court when the Cougars took on top competitors in arenas across the country.
Houston Cougars Trivia
you have ever heard of a basketball game referenced as the "Game of the Century," chances are it's about Guy Lewis's Houston
Cougars basketball team. Led by star player Elvin Hayes in 1968, the Cougars upset the top-ranked UCLA Bruins at the Astrodome
in Houston at one of the most thrilling games in college basketball history, and a matchup that is still talked about today.
Witnessed by 50,000 Cougars fans at the Astrodome, Elvin Hayes and the Houston Cougars proved the domination of the Houston
basketball team, and sparked a craze for college hoops that is still prevalent today through March Madness and among the top
teams in the NCAA.
The "Game of the Century" became a reference point for the starting years of college basketball popularity
in the country, and the Houston Cougars went on to excite thousands more fans during the '68 season and long beyond. The Cougars
have since moved their home court to the Hofheinz Pavilion, but that single exciting matchup at the Astrodome in the 1960s
shaped the college basketball movement for good, perhaps even helping to spawn the craze that today we call March Madness.
Houston Cougars NBA Players
Basketball fans that come trotting into the Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston, Texas will
see hanging from the rafters in the arena the jerseys of five of the Houston Cougars' most prolific and well known ball players
of all time: No. 10 Otis Birdsong, No. 22 Clyde Drexler, No. 34 Hakeem Olajuwon, No. 42 Michael Young, and No. 44 Elvin Hayes.
These storied players have had their jerseys retired by the University of Houston basketball team, and each star hoopster
went on to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) after their stints in the NCAA.
Fans of the Houston Cougars
can still catch some NBA players of the future in action on the court at Hofheinz Pavilion, and all the college basketball
action at the arena intensifies whenever American Athletic Conference competitors come to play at the Cougars' home den. Cougars
fans put on their scarlet and white outfits and come cheer for the home team at Hofheinz Pavilion during basketball season,
filling up the arena's 8,500 seats with ease for some of the biggest matchups of the year. The Cougars are led today by head
coach James Dickey, and are a big force in the NCAA Tournament year after year. The Cougars' last appearance in the Big Dance
was in 2010, but the team might just have what it takes this year to make some noise in the postseason.