BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Northern Kentucky Norse will be looking to shock the world as they face the No. 1 seed Houston Cougars Thursday afternoon.
The Norse haven’t spent much time as a member of Division I. Northern Kentucky jumped from Division II to Division I in 2012 as a part-time member and gained full-time status in 2016. Meanwhile, Houston is looking to make the Final Four in its own backyard. This year’s Final Four will be held inside NRG Stadium, the home of the Houston Texans. The last time a local university has played in a Final Four in its home city: Butler, 2010. Houston guard Marcus Sasser, the team’s best player, is facing a groin injury heading into the tournament.
Here’s everything you need to know about the game:
- Tip-off: 8:20 p.m.
- Head coaches: Darrin Horn, N. Kentucky (4th season, 79-44); Kelvin Sampson, Houston (9th season, 230-173)
- Team records: Northern Kentucky 22-12, 14-6 (Horizon League); Houston 31-3, 17-1 (American).
- Series history: First meeting.
- NCAA Tournament Appearances: Northern Kentucky 3, Houston 24 (6 Final Fours).