Houston won 12 total NCAA Tournament games from 1982-84. They haven't won a tourney game since, though that drought could end this year, especially if the Cougars keep rolling and earn a friendly First Round matchup.
Houston is a 10-seed in the seventh edition of HERO Sports Bracketology, and is projected to face Creighton the First Round of the South Region. It is the Cougars' third straight appearance as a 10-seed, which would tie their highest seed since 1990, when they were an 8-seed. And not only do they have a chance to match the eighth-seeded team from 28 years ago, they could climb to a 7-seed thanks to an opportunity-laced schedule.
MORE: 2018 Bracketology
Kelvin Sampson's team ranks in the top 50 in RPI, BPI and strength of record, among other metrics. They have two top-25 wins, two additional top-50 wins but three bad losses, including a what-the-hell-happened defeat to Drexel in mid-November. That loss (and others vs. LSU and Tulane) nearly closed the door on the top-seven or -eight discussion. It remains cracked because Houston has three remaining top-50 foes in the regular season — including two games vs. RPI No. 19 Cincinnati — and potentially two more top-50 games in the AAC Tournament.
Teams currently seeded above Houston are all more vulnerable than Bill Self in the NCAA Tournament. The likes of Providence, Louisville, TCU and others have proven they can lose to anyone and are all candidates for a late-season skid that would open the door for the Cougars.
If a few of the current 7-, 8- and 9-seeds stumble and Houston can split vs. Cincinnati, beat UCF, SMU (twice) and Temple, and reach the AAC Championship, they are not only guaranteed their second NCAA Tournament appearance in 26 years, they could earn a top-seven seed.