When Was the Last Time Houston Won the NCAA Tournament? (Odds to Win March Madness)

Taking a deep dive into Houston’s March Madness history heading into the Sweet 16. 

Houston's Jamal Shead (1) and Ramon Walker Jr. (3) celebrate after Houston defeated Texas A&M in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Houston's Jamal Shead (1) and Ramon Walker Jr. (3) celebrate after Houston defeated Texas A&M in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. / Chris Day/The Commercial Appeal / USA

Houston took a deep breath on Sunday when the top-seeded Cougars survived an overtime scare from No. 9 Texas A&M. Houston seemed in control for the majority of the night, but the Aggies stormed back to tie the game and force overtime on a buzzer beater. 

Houston was in brutal foul trouble in overtime, but still held on for a 100-95 victory - though they didn’t cover the 10-point spread - to reach the Sweet 16. Kelvin Sampson’s crew has been one of the best teams in the nation all season, despite moving into arguably the nation’s toughest conferences (Big 12) this season. 

Houston is the No. 2 overall team in KenPom and is one of five teams to be ranked in the top-15 in offensive and defensive efficiency. The Cougars’ calling card is on defense, though, and they’ll be tested in the Sweet 16 against Duke. 

Sampson and company have a rich NCAA Tournament history, but has Houston ever run the table as the last team remaining on the bracket? Here’s a deep dive into the program’s March Madness background and odds they can win it all in a few weeks. 

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When Was the Last Time Houston Won the NCAA Tournament? 

Houston has had some historically great teams in college basketball history, dating back to the Phi Slama Jamma Days when Guy Lewis’ Cougars included guys like future NBA Hall-of-Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. 

Unfortunately, Houston came up short in the national championship game in 1983 to the Cinderella Wolfpack of NC State. One year later, Houston reached the national final again but lost to Georgetown.

Houston has never won the national title. Since losing back-to-back national title tilts, Houston has made the Final Four once in 2021, losing to top-seeded and eventual national champion Baylor, 78-59. 

Close to Home Houston Favored to Reach Final Four 

After surviving a scare from Texas A&M, Houston is now playing in the Sweet 16 in its home state. The Cougars will battle No. 4 Duke on Friday at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

According to FanDuel Sportsbook, Houston is the odds-on favorite at even money (+100) to win the South Region and advance to the Final Four for the second time in four years and seventh time in school history. 

On the national championship odds board, Houston is tied with fellow No. 1 seed Purdue as the second-favorite to win it all at +550 ($100 wins $550) on FanDuel. 

Houston is a 4.5-point favorite (-176 moneyline) over Duke (+146) in Friday’s Sweet 16 clash. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.