UCF Knights vs Houston Cougars: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Fertitta Center in Houston, TX, USA.

When: Saturday, March 2nd at 4pm EST.

How (TV/Radio): ESPN |

UCF Knights(Away)

Head Coach: Johnny Dawkins {Overall: 20-6, .769 W-L% | Conference: 10-4, 3rd in American Athletic Conference}

The Knights come to Houston looking to add a signature win to boost their resume and build momentum heading into the AAC conference tournament. This will be UCF’s second chance at taming the Cougars, as the Knights were defeated 77-68 at home in Orlando. Senior guard B.J. Taylor led the scoring effort with 21 points, while Aubrey Dawkins and Tacko Fall each contributed 13 points.

A win in Houston would end a four-game losing streak to the Cougars dating back to 2017, while also netting their first win in the Space City since January of 2015.

In their most recent matchup, the Knights took down their arch-rival South Florida Bulls 75-63 on the road in Tampa. Fall was the leading scorer with 18 points while Taylor followed with 15 of his own. A big key to the win was USF’s ineptitude from the perimeter, as the Bulls shot 6-25 from three which should not be a surprise from a team ranked 252nd in three-point shooting.

Houston Cougars (Home)

Head Coach: Kelvin Sampson {Overall: 26-1, .963 W-L% | Conference: 13-1, 1st in American Athletic Conference}

The Cougars have been nearly flawless this season, with the lone blemish being a loss to Temple on January 9th. Much of that is due to a light non-conference schedule which is highlighted by under-performing power conference teams in Oregon and Oklahoma State. Nonetheless, Houston has capitalized on what was put in front of them and will look to build on it to maximize their seeding on Selection Sunday.

In their most recent action, the Cougars demolished East Carolina 99-65 on the road in Greenville, North Carolina. Leading scorer Corey Davis Jr. scored 26 points to spur the onslaught, while sophomore forward Fabian White Jr. scored a season-high 16 points. Houston’s offensive efficiency was in full force, as the Cougars shot just over 60% from the field and 46.4% from beyond the arc.

UCF Roster Notes

UCF has no roster news to report.

Houston Roster Notes

Houston has no roster news to report.

Head-to-Head: Tacko Fall vs Galen Robinson Jr.

Tacko Fall

Center | 7-6, 310lb (229cm, 140kg) | Liberty Christian Prep (FL) | Dakar, Senegal | Senior

10.9 PPG | 0.5 APG | 7.3 RPG | 0.3 SPG | 2.7 BPG | 1.8 TOV | .766 FG% | .000 3P%

Galen Robinson Jr.

Point Guard | 6-1, 190lb (185cm, 86kg) | Westbury HS | Houston, TX | Senior

7.8 PPG | 5.3 APG | 3.4 RPG | 1.3 SPG | 0.1 BPG | 1.7 TOV | .424 FG% | .338 3P%

This matchup will pit two seniors on the opposite end of the size spectrum. Although both players can provide scoring at a decent clip, they both excel at making non-scoring impacts at each end of the floor.

Given his tremendous height, Tacko Fall is understandably one of college basketball’s premier shot blockers. He has twice led the AAC in blocked shots with one of those years being his freshman season. His height also lends itself to a formidable advantage around the rim on offense, as he is the NCAA’s all-time leader in field goal percentage at 74.1%. He has found ways to hurt his team, however, most notably with his 36.7% free throw shooting clip this season.

Like Fall, Houston’s Galen Robinson Jr. is an asset on both sides of the floor for his team. He leads the team in assists as the primary playmaker and also is the AAC all-time leader in helpers. The local kid is also no slacker on defense, as his abilities are evident both in forcing turnovers and in advanced stats such as defensive win shares where he ranks in the top ten in AAC history.

UCF at Houston Predictions and Odds

Houston is a 7.5 point favorite at home against UCF according to oddsmakers. The over/under is currently at 133.5.