The South Florida Bulls are in Texas on Sunday afternoon for a meeting with the Houston Cougars. It’s always a downer to go from Saturday to Sunday college basketball cards. Saturdays are packed with non-stop action from early in the day into the night. If you are a casual fan of college basketball and like the NCAA Tournament for that reason, then certainly check out a normal Saturday during the college basketball season.
There is far more action out there, and even more opportunities to find winners. I prefer the big cards, which provide more of a sample size of games to handicap. In any event, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find winners on a smaller slate like today. The biggest game on Sunday has to be in the Big Ten between the Iowa Hawkeyes and Ohio State Buckeyes.
Both teams suffered recent losses against the Michigan Wolverines, a team that could very well win it all in April. In other ranked action on Sunday, we have No. 12 Houston hosting unranked South Florida. The Bulls are looking to finish strong and get into the AAC Tournament. They enter Sunday with a record of 8-9 and 4-7 in the conference. The Cougars are going to be a tough team to beat in March. Their defense doesn’t give up much room to operate.
However, Wichita State and Memphis have the best chance of upsetting the Cougars and winning the AAC Tournament. Wichita State is coming off a 68-63 win against Houston on February 18, so no, it wouldn’t be the biggest of upsets to see Houston fall. On a neutral court is a different story, though, as the Shockers caught the Cougars doing some napping on the road in that contest.
Houston was able to respond in fine form with a 90-52 over Cincinnati, and a 81-57 win over Western Kentucky most recently on Thursday. They’re an incredibly dangerous team when they bring their best effort. Houston is going into Sunday with a record of 19-3 and 12-3 in the AAC.
They’ve been perfect at home, and have handled the opposition quite easily in their own backyard in Houston. The Cougars are a perfect 13-0 at Hofheinz Pavilion. South Florida has only played five games on the road, and enters this one at 3-2 as a visitor. Head below for our free South Florida vs. Houston pick on February 28, 2021.
South Florida Bulls vs. Houston Cougars NCAA Betting Odds:
South Florida vs. Houston Prediction:
Houston is interested in wearing teams out, and not making it an enjoyable time offensively. They make teams work for every point that goes up on the board. It’s usually not too many points that are scored on the Cougars. When they’re at their best, Houston does a tremendous job at limiting the opposing offense. Houston is second in the NCAA with just 57.5 points conceded per game.
Teams have found it difficult to shoot from the field against the Cougs. Note that they’re shooting just 36.6% from the field, which puts Houston first in the NCAA. If South Florida gets behind against Houston early, then they’re going to face a big uphill climb. Chucking up threes and getting back quickly? That’s unlikely against Houston. Teams are shooting a measly 26.4% from three against Houston.
Houston has been even more dominant at home defensively. They’ve conceded only 54.5 points per game in Houston. Opponents are shooting 34.7% from the field against the Cougars on the road. The Bulls have struggled to find the bottom of the net against mediocre defenses this season, never mind the Cougars in Houston. They’ve recorded 67.2 points per game, and shooting only 41% from the field for 311th in the NCAA.
If you are banking on South Florida using the free-throw line to stay in the game, then you are going to be disappointed. The Bulls are shooting a miserable 63.8% from the charity stripe, so freebies are going to be hard to come by for South Florida tonight. Houston has been heating up offensively recently as well. They’ve been a complete team, with 85.6 points and 57.6 points conceded in their previous five showings.
The offense gets overlooked sometimes because of the defense, but they can shoot as well. Former Kansas Jayhawk, Quentin Grimes, has come into his own with the Cougars. The junior is having his best season through his three-year career, with 17.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in 2020-21. He’s helped lead the Cougars to 76.7 points per game for 62nd in the country.
They’ve been better at home, with 81 points recorded per contest. Houston beat South Florida soundly in Florida by a score of 82-65 on February 10. Back home, the Cougars should be able to win even more comfortably. They’ve been hot since losing against Wichita State, and likely keep it up on Sunday afternoon. A win over the Bulls by at least 20 points seems within reach.