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Miami Hurricanes vs. Houston Cougars preview, picks for Sweet 16 of 2023 NCAA Tournament

The Hurricanes and Cougars meet at Sprint Center in the Sweet 16 of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament Second Round-Auburn vs Houston Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 Miami Hurricanes head to the Sweet 16 for the second straight season to square off against the No. 1 Houston Cougars, making their third consecutive trip to the Sweet 16. Houston has been one of the best teams in the country this year from start to finish. Miami on the other hand won the ACC regular season title leading the conference from start to finish.

The game will tip off on Friday, March 24 at 7:15 p.m. ET. The game will be available on CBS and streamed on the MM Live App. Houston enters this one as -7 point favorites, odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

No. 5 Miami Hurricanes: 27-7 (15-5):

Second-round result: No.5 Miami 85 No. 4 Indiana 69
First-round result: No. 5. Miami 63 No. 12 Drake 56
KenPom rating: 32 Overall, 11 Offense, 108 Defense
NET ranking:35 (5-5 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Isiah Wong 16.1 PPG
Key stat: Miami averages 79.1 PPG on the season.

Miami used a late second-half surge to defeat Drake in the first round but dominated No. 4 Indiana in the second round. The most impressive thing about their second-round victory is that they allowed Trayce Jackson-Davis to score 23 points, but kept others like Jalen Hood-Schifino in check and forced him to shoot an awful 8-22 from the field.

Miami’s Wong and Jordan Miller are both outstanding players and drive the bus for the

No. 1 Houston Cougars: 33-3 (17-1):

Second-round result: No. 1 Houston 81 No. 9 Auburn 64
First-round result: No. 1 Houston 63 No.16 Northern Kentucky 52
KenPom rating: 1 Overall, 9 Offense, 4 Defense
NET ranking: 1, (7-2 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Marcus Sasser 16.9 PPG
Key stat: Houston held teams to 56 PPG this season

Houston hasn’t looked overly impressive in their first two games in the tournament. Yes, March is about surviving and advancing, but you would expect a 1-seed to look more impressive against two lesser opponents. They trailed No. 9 Auburn 41-31 at the half, and if not for shooting a woeful 15-26 from the free throw line, it may have been a different outcome.

Houston’s Sasser is a really good player and compliments backcourt mate Jamal Shead well.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Point spread: Houston -7
Point total: 138
Moneyline: Miami +255 Houston -305

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: Miami +7
Point total pick: Under 138
Pick to Win: Houston

The Cougars are the better team here, but they haven’t been impressive of late, dating back to the end of the regular season. Miami is clicking offensively right now, and even with Houston’s defensive prowess, it will be hard to slow them down. Wong and Miller set the table for the Miami along with forward Norchad Omier. Sasser and Houston will do enough for the victory, but Miami will do enough to keep it close.