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Houston Cougars Basketball

Houston Cougars Basketball Tickets

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Houston Cougars Basketball

College: University of Houston

Conference: Big 12

Stadium: Fertitta Center (capacity 7,100)

Head Coach: Kelvin Sampson (2014-present)

2022-23 Regular Season Record: 33-4

2023 Postseason Record: NCAA Sweet 16 (defeated 89-75 by the Miami Hurricanes)

Legendary Alumni: Clyde “The Glide” Drexler, Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, Cadillac Anderson, Bo Outlaw

National Championships: 0 (Runners-up in 1983, 1984)

Houston Cougars Basketball

The Houston Cougars basketball team have been on something of a tear in recent years under head coach Kelvin Sampson, winning four conference championships and qualifying for five straight NCAA postseason March Madness tournaments in the past seven seasons (there was no tournament held in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic). The Cougars also reached the Sweet 16 twice, the Elite 8 once, and the Final Four in 2021, though they were blown out 78-59 by the upstart Baylor Bears. Altogether, this was the sixth time that the Cougars had appeared in the Final Four, meaning that the team now possesses the unenviable record of the most Final Four appearances without ever winning a championship. The Cougars’ closest call was in 1983 (and it was agonizingly close), when they lost 54-52 to the NC State Wolfpack on a last-minute dunk from a Hail Mary long shot. In 1984, they fell 84-75 to Patrick Ewing and the Georgetown Hoyas. Over the decades, many fine ex-Cougars have gone on to star in the NBA (and acquire some sweet nicknames), including Clyde “The Glide” Drexler, Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, Cadillac Anderson, and Bo Outlaw (real name). The Cougars are also famed in the annals of American college basketball for having participated in (and won!) what is known as the Game of the Century in 1968. Held in Houston’s Astrodome, considered at the time to be a marvel of modern Space Age architecture, and broadcast on prime time television (a first for college basketball), this game between the Cougars and all-conquering UCLA Bruins set records with over 50,000 fans in the stadium and millions watching on television. The Cougars pulled off a dramatic 71-69 upset. The game was later credited with popularizing NCAA basketball and paving the way for national TV coverage of March Madness ever since. Nowadays, with such deep tournament runs in the past few seasons, the Cougars and their legions of devoted fans will be looking to bring home that much-awaited first championship title in the years to come and make history again. 

How can I get cheap tickets to Houston Cougars games?

Fertitta Center, home to the Houston Cougars basketball team, is a rather small venue by NCAA standards. Couple with the popularity of the Cougars and the large population of the city of Houston, this means that demand for tickets to home games can often outstrip supply. Tickets can be hard to find, particularly for postseason tournament games, key conference deciders, or rivalry matchups (see below), which frequently sell out. To get your hands on the cheapest tickets to Houston Cougars games, check the TicketX listings on this page and use our trusty TicketX seating chart to compare prices and locations. You can buy tickets from TicketX with just one click for the lowest commission fees! 

Houston Cougars Rivalries

The Houston Cougars have local rivalries with the Rice Owls and SMU Mustangs, leading both all-time series by considerable margins. The Cougars actually met the Mustangs in the March Madness tournament on three occasions before the teams joined the same conference, with SMU winning the first two and the Cougars winning the third. Cougars fans also consider the Memphis Tigers and Baylor Bears to be major rivals. 

Are Houston Cougars basketball games exciting?

The atmosphere in the Fertitta Center can be intimidating for visiting players, with fans decked out in scarlet red and white. Fans are also known for jingling their keys at opposition teams when the Cougars are ahead late in the game as a sign to go start the bus for the ride home.


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