March Madness 2024: No. 1 seed Houston survives in OT vs. Texas A&M after Aggies' remarkable late comeback


MEMPHIS, Tenn — No. 1 seed Houston survived a late-game collapse to outlast No. 9 seed Texas A&M 100-95 in overtime on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Cougars led by 10 with 1:24 to play in regulation before A&M clawed its way back to force overtime when Andersson Garcia hit a 3-pointer as time expired in the second half.

Garcia’s make, which was his only 3-point attempt of the game, knotted the score at 86 apiece and forced a physically bruising affair to go five more minutes. Both teams were saddled with foul trouble entering the extra period, and the Cougars lost a third starter when Emanuel Sharp picked up his fifth with 3:41 remaining in the extra period after scoring a career-high 30 points.

With Sharp, fellow outside shooter LJ Cryer and veteran big man Ja’Vier Francis all disqualified, an already hobbled Houston team was forced to rely on three reserves in overtime. Among the remaining starters was Jamal Shead, who drilled a critical jumper with 30 seconds remaining to put Houston ahead 97-93. Shead played every second of the game until fouling out with 18 seconds left. 

The Cougars’ depth situation then became so dire after that walk-on Ryan Elvin was forced to enter and attempt critical free throws with the game on the line. He made 1 of 2 to extend Houston’s lead from three to four with 17 seconds left.

“We just found a way,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “All these years I’ve been doing this stuff, I don’t know if there’s a more satisfying win than tonight. Just can’t tell you how proud I am of this group. Just really, really proud of this team.”

The win secured a fifth consecutive Sweet 16 appearance for the Cougars, who will face No. 4 seed Duke in a Sweet 16 matchup on Friday in Dallas.

“We’re very fortunate tonight to win,” Sampson added. “Texas A&M could have won that game. But only one team can advance, and I’ve learned not to autopsy wins this time of the year. So we move on.”





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