When Was the Last Time Houston Won the NCAA Tournament?

Houston v Illinois
Houston v Illinois / Rob Carr/GettyImages

The Houston Cougars might be one of the most feared teams in college basketball, but this hasn’t always been the case. History has not been as kind to the Cougars as their peers in the top five seeds. 

In fact, in their 80+ years as a program, the Houston Cougars have never won the NCAA Tournament.  They have come close a few times, but for the most part, are knocked out in the first couple of rounds. 

But Houston is in the Sweet 16 and, despite a tough game against No. 1 Arizona, could be a surprisingly hard opponent for the top-ranked team in the South. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let's look back at some of the best March Madness performances in team history.

When Was the Cougars’ Last National Championship

As I mentioned above, the Cougars have never hoisted any sort of hardware at the end of March Madness. But, they did manage to earn runner-up honors twice in back-to-back seasons. While an impressive feat, the problem is that those were the 1983-84 seasons. So, it's been a while. 

On the positive side of things, Houston made it to the Final Four last year for the first time since that 80s run. They are two wins away from achieving that feat two years in a row. 

Houston’s Odds to Win National Championship

As of this writing, WynnBET Sportsbook has the Houston Cougars listed at +1200 to win as the No.  seed in the South Region. A part of me is surprised they aren’t a bit longer considering they have to face off against No. 1 Arizona on Thursday night. A spot in the Elite Eight awaits the winner with the Wildcats currently two-point favorites. 

Check out our game preview for Houston vs. Arizona here!

The Cougars got a tough break having to face off against the No. 1 seed before the Elite Eight. But Houston won’t be an easy win for Arizona, or any team in this tournament, thanks to their amazing defense. 

Arizona ranks third in the nation in defensive scoring, second in opponent average scoring margin, and third in opponent effective field goal percentage. 

If the defense manages to lead them to an upset win over Arizona, the Cougars will face off against the winner of Michigan vs Villanova in the Elite Eight.