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Kelvin Sampson, Houston Flying High, Advance To Another Sweet Sixteen

There was a time, and seemingly not that long ago, where Kelvin Sampson wanted to be an NBA coach. But he’s now been at the University of Houston and he clearly made the right choice.

So did Houston.

The latest example came Sunday, when Houston controlled the day in racing past Illinois by a 680-53 count in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. One year after advancing to the Final Four, the Cougars (31-5) are back in the Sweet Sixteen. Their Final Four appearance, by the way, was their first since 1984 and the days of Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler.

Today, their stars go by the name of Taze Moore (21 points, seven rebounds), Jamal Shead (18 points), and Kyler Edwards (15 points). All three players are guards, giving Sampson a quick and versatile bunch that can play outside or sometimes even in.

That truth came to life in allowing the Cougars to speed past the favored Illini, who were ranked fourth in the South region. Houston is fifth.

Along with being fun to watch, Sampson has turned the Cougars into a consistent top-15 program after they had reached the tourney just one in 26 years before him. Now, they have reached the Sweet Sixteen for the third straight year.

Next up is the winner of the Arizona-TCU game being played Sunday night. Arizona, of course, is the No. 1 overall seed in the South. The last team the Wildcats, or Horned Frogs, likely want to see is the Cougars.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico is the assistant managing editor-newsdesk at OutKick. He is also the co-founder and senior writer at Hoopswire.com, and has covered the NBA for nearly 20 years, including his time at Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and CBS Sports. A native of Akron, Ohio, his writing career began in Wyoming.

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