No. 1 Houston upset by Temple at home: How this could hurt the Cougars in March

Houston, the nation’s top team, fell to unranked Temple 56-55 in Houston on Sunday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Owls stopped Houston’s attempt at the last second, out of bounds. Houston only scored three points in the final five minutes.
  • Houston’s only other loss of the season, on December 10 against Alabama, came amid the Cougars’ first stint as a first team.
  • With No. 2 Kansas losing to TCU at home Saturday, this weekend marks the first time in history that the top two teams have lost at home on consecutive days, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
  • The win was Temple coach Aaron McKee’s first over a Division 1 opponent.

the athleteInstant Analysis:

Where did this come from?

This was a strange result that no one expected. KenPom gave Temple only a 3% chance of winning. This was all about Houston’s offense and inability to finish the paint. The Coogs got mostly good shots, but unless there were interceptions on the ball, they struggled with hitting shots from 10 feet. They shot only 33 percent within the arc.

And when it came time to win the game – after the final possession – they brought it out to Jamal Shide, he beat his man, but Cor Jongkuch made an upside down bid to let go of his man and block the shot from the basket. Houston got another great look on an out-of-bounds lob, but Tramon Mark missed by two tails. Again and again Houston missed closely contested shots. – Moore

Defensive defensive combat

The Houston defense was a bit leaky on the ball screen coverage in the first half, but eventually cleaned that up and made the offense difficult for Temple in the second half. The Owls won despite scoring their final goal of the game with 7:18 remaining in the game, but they made up for it with work on the line, making 20 of 22 free throws while Houston made 11 of 21. – Moore

How that might affect the Cougars season

This is a loss that could eventually cost Houston a starting streak in the NCAA Tournament. If Houston wins, it’s likely they’ll still be in first place. But maybe this is needed now to get to the top. It’s not the worst thing for the Coogs, because Kelvin Sampson is getting their attention right now.

Houston is still one of the best teams in the country. This was just one of those days when not a lot of footage was entered to take. – Moore

(Photo: Troy Taormina/USA Today)


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