best tracker Houston gives top 8 seeds clean sweep to Sweet 16, holding off Aggies 100-95 – Techss

Houston gives top 8 seeds clean sweep to Sweet 16, holding off Aggies 100-95

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Emanuel Sharp started overtime with a 3-pointer that put top-seeded Houston ahead to stay as the Cougars advanced to the Sweet 16 back in Texas by topping ninth-seeded Texas A&M 100-95 on Sunday night.

The Aggies forced overtime with a furious rally, outscoring Houston 17-5 in the final two minutes of regulation. Andersson Garcia beat the buzzer with his ninth 3-pointer of the season, and then was mobbed by his teammates.

Sharp fouled out after his 3, finishing with 30 points. His teammates outscored Texas A&M 7-1 to start the extra session and close it out.

The win by Houston (32-4) means all eight teams seeded 1 and 2 advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time since the NCAA tourney started seeding in 1979. The top eight seeds also advanced in 2019, 2009, 1995 and 1989.

The Cougars will play Duke, a 93-55 winner over James Madison, on Friday in Dallas in the South Region semifinals. This will be Houston’s fifth straight Sweet 16 and 16th all-time.

Texas A&M (21-15) was trying to make the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2018 in its second straight NCAA Tournament under coach Buzz Williams. The Aggies had been 6-1 in March only to revert to the team that struggled offensively much of the season.

Jamal Shead had 21 points and had 10 assists for Houston. He was one of four Cougars who fouled out.

The Cougars represented the Big 12 in their first season in the conference by adding to the Southeastern Conference’s misery. Only Tennessee advanced to the Sweet 16 out of the SEC’s eight teams in this tournament.

L.J. Cryer added 20 points, and J’Wan Roberts fought through a knee issue with 13.

Taylor had been on a scoring tear and hit a career-high seven 3s in the Aggies’ win over Nebraska. The guard missed his first seven shots and finished with 21 points on 5-of-25 shooting, including 3 of 13 beyond the arc.

Tyrece Radford, who missed the December loss to Houston, had 27 points. Manny Obaseki added 15 before fouling out, and Garcia had 12.

Houston led 43-38 after a fast-paced first half.

BIG PICTURE

Texas A&M: The Aggies at least go home with a big win in the first round after leaving this tournament empty-handed a year ago. … They set several program records in this event in the opening win, including making 13 3s. In this game, the Aggies wound up 8 of 23 outside the arc and shot 29 of 45 at the free-throw line.

Houston: The Cougars improved to 8-2 as a No. 1 seed. … They now have won at least 32 games for the fifth time. Shead and fellow seniors Roberts and Ryan Elvin can try to add to their mark as the winningest four-year class in Cougars history already at 125-18. … Coach Kelvin Sampson now is 22-1 against the Aggies, including 21-1 with the Cougars.

UP NEXT

The Cougars will have the home-court advantage against Duke on Friday night, even with Dallas a 245-mile drive from Houston. ___

AP March Madness bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket and coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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