Houston Going After Third Straight AAC Tourney Title
There wasn’t much drama in the semifinal games in the American Athletic Conference tournament. Two-time defending champion and No. 1 seed Houston led Cincinnati by 15 points at halftime while second-seeded Memphis was up 42-17 on Tulane on the way to a 40-point win. This is the matchup that those making college basketball predictions have been expecting.
It wasn’t all good news as Marcus Sasser, Houston’s top scorer, left Saturday’s game due to injury and if he can’t suit up again, that leaves a huge hole in the lineup for the Cougars.
Houston won the AAC tournaments in 2021 by 37 points against Cincinnati and in 2022 by 18 points versus Memphis. Memphis has never won the AAC tournament. The last conference tournament title for the Tigers came in the 2013 Conference USA tourney.
Memphis is the top shooting team in the conference, making 48.1% of its shots while Houston leads the American Athletic Conference in field goal percentage defense, limiting teams to 36.3% shooting and 27.7% from 3-point range.
When it comes to college basketball news, forward Jahmar Young is out for Memphis. For Houston, Sasser is questionable while guard Ramon Walker is out. Walker hasn’t played since late December.
Houston remains on top of both national polls and received 87 out of the 92 first-place votes in the Associated Press and coaches’ polls.
According to the college basketball odds, Houston (+600) has the best odds to win the national championship. Memphis comes in tied for 29th at +10000.
Houston is first in the NCAA NET rankings and being the only one of the top 10 teams in the NET rankings with fewer than 10 Quad 1 games played should keep the Cougars from being a No. 1 seed. Has Memphis, which is 29th in the NET rankings, done enough to make it into the 68-team March Madness bracket even with a loss on Sunday. Many of those making college basketball picks have Memphis in the tournament field.
Williams Saving Best for Last
Memphis needed to make five foul shots in the final minute to hold off UCF’s comeback bid in the quarterfinals. There were no such issues in Saturday’s semifinal.
Senior forward DeAndre Williams followed up a 35-point game in the quarterfinals with 27 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in the 94-54 victory against Tulane.
Williams has scored more than 20 points in five of his last 10 games with Memphis posting an 8-2 record over that span. Both of those losses came against Housto. Williams averaged 13 points and 2.5 rebounds in the two matchups with the Cougars compared to 22.3 points and 8.5 rebounds in the eight wins.
Leading scorer Kendric Davis has five straight 20-point games for the Tigers.
Memphis is 5-2 against the college basketball betting lines in its last seven games.
Flexing Their Muscles
It is hard to lose when the other team can’t score.
East Carolina and Cincinnati were held to 28% shooting and a 19% mark from 3-point range as the Cougars have reached the conference title game for the third season in a row. This will be the AAC swan song for Houston as the Cougars will begin play in the Big 12 next season.
Naturally, things will look much different if Sasser is unable to play. He averaged 16.5 points in the two wins against Memphis this season.
The Cougars did play 26 games without Sasser a season ago so this would not be the first time they had to move forward without their star.
Jamal Shead, J’Wan Roberts and Jarace Walker combined for 45 points and 25 rebounds in the semifinal win.
presented by @thejointchiro
Moving on to the @American_MBB Title Game!@JwanRoberts13 | 16 pts | 8 rebs@Thejshead | 16 pts | 9 asts@JaraceW | 13 pts | 8 rebs#ForTheCity x #GoCoogs pic.twitter.com/uHxMM1TSPY
— Houston Men’s Hoops 🏀 🐾 (@UHCougarMBK) March 11, 2023
Houston has covered against the Las Vegas odds in just one of its last five games.
Houston vs Memphis Game Injuries
Memphis vs Houston Head-to-Head
Houston has won the last two games, Overall, it is 13-28 against Memphis.
Memphis vs Houston Game Information
- Game: Memphis (25-8, 13-5 AAC) vs Houston (31-2, 17-1)
- Location: Dickies Arena, Fort Worth, TX
- Day/Time: Sunday, March 12, 3:15 p.m. ET
- Memphis vs Houston Live Stream: TBS.com
Memphis vs Houston Betting Lines
Memphis vs Houston Picks & Prediction
Houston has won 13 games in a row since a one-point loss to Temple on Jan. 22. Nine of those wins have come by double figures. Two of the closest matchups have come against Memphis.
Memphis has outrebounded the Cougars in both games this season so it will be worth watching to see how Houston does in keeping Memphis off the glass.
Memphis opened a few eyes with the way it rolled past Tulane in the semifinals. The Tigers might have a hard time hitting another 13 3-pointers when facing one of the top defensive teams in the country.
The line could move if there is some clarity on Sasser’s availability before the opening tip. Still, it is hard to go against the top-seeded Cougars in this showdown.
Houston has been favored according to the Las Vegas NCAA odds in all 33 games this season. Memphis is 2-5 as an underdog.
The teams are a combined 9-1 in neutral-site games this season, although the Cougars and Tigers are 6-4 against the spread in those matchups.
Houston is listed at +205 in our Las Vegas college basketball lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Cougars, you have a chance to win $205. Memphis is -250, offering a chance to win $40 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Houston a 32.79% chance to win, with Memphis at 71.43%.