Who? The Cougars of Houston.
What? Houston used to have a live cougar named Shasta, an elided form of "she has to", and the live cougars were all female. Then they stopped keeping live cougars and went to a costumed Shasta. Then Shasta got a female counterpart named Sasha. The alumni were confused; I just hope that whatever Shasta's lifestyle is that they continue to support their mascot.
Where? Houston, Texas.
When? Sunday the 20th, versus West Virginia in Waco.
Why? Their strong conference record got them into the field. Their somewhat soft schedule put them at an 8. Their region put them in Waco, on a crash course with Baylor if seeding holds. I reiterate my view on the 8-9 seed.
How? They were an at-large selection from Conference USA.Surprise? In the tournament, no. Needing to be in as an at-large, yes.
Who's driving this thing, anyway? Todd Buchanan, since 2010. He didn't have to go very far to take this job- he was at Houston Baptist before.
Record: 26-5 (16-0 C-USA)
Best win: Louisville (N)
Worst loss: Lamar (A)
Notable results: Louisiana Tech (W, A, 70-66), TCU (L, A, 69-57)
The good news for Houston is that they have four solid scoring options, led by senior forward Courtney Taylor and her 15.7 points (and 11.4 rebounds). The bad news is that once they're out of double-figure scorers, the next best average is 5.6. I have a lingering soft spot for senior guard Brittney Scott, from her sophomore year on.