The (#1) Houston Cougars (28-2) will take on the Memphis Tigers (23-7) in the AAC regular-season finale on Sunday. Houston is 16-1 in the conference and has won 10 straight since late January. A win on Sunday would ensure that the #1 ranked Cougars will get a top seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile, Memphis is still firmly on the bubble, but a win over Houston would secure their spot in the Field of 68. Even if the Tigers fall, a tough battle should give them confidence heading into the conference tourney.
Houston vs. Memphis Betting Odds
Odds are courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook
Houston vs. Memphis Match Details
Fixture: Houston Cougars at Memphis Tigers
Date and Time: Sunday, March 5, 2023, at 9:00 PM ET
ShotQuality Tale of the Tape
Below, we will highlight essential ShotQuality data for this matchup, including Adjusted Offensive and Defensive SQ, strengths, weaknesses, and frequency. SQppp is a player’s average ShotQuality points per possession.
Thus, SQppp = Total SQpoints/Total No. of Possessions.
The Houston Cougars have a 1.16 AdjOFF SQ this season, good for 20th in the nation. Memphis has the 53rd-best AdjDEF SQ at 0.96. Houston does well in all key stats, except the rim & three rate metric, where they are 311th in the country. They are also outside the top 275 in FTR (free throw rate) and the open three rate metric. Houston takes a lot of mid-range jump shots, only takes a few free throws, and only takes a few open threes. Conversely, the Tigers are equally bad in defensive FTR and the defensive rim & three rate metric but 57th in the defensive open three rate metric.
The Cougars own high-frequency numbers in catch-and-shoot three-point, cut, isolation, midrange, P&R ball screen, post-up, and transition shot types. Houston has no offensive advantage regarding the high-frequency shot types, but Memphis’ defense has a massive edge in stopping the P&R, midrange, and isolation.
The Tigers have a 1.11 AdjOFF SQ, the 59th-best mark in the country. Houston has posted a 0.93 AdjDEF SQ this season, clocking in at 21st in the country. The Tigers are in the top 60 in shot selection, FTR (free throw rate), and rim & three SQ PPP. The Cougars are in the bottom 100 in defensive FTR while excelling in defensive shot selection and the defensive rim & three SQ PPP metrics.
Memphis is in the country’s top half in frequency regarding these shot types: cut, finishing at the rim, isolation, midrange, and transition. Where the Tigers are red, the Cougars are red, and vice versa, except cut, isolation, and midrange. The Cougars’ defense has the edge in the cut and isolation, while the Tigers have an advantage in the midrange.
Houston vs. Memphis Prediction
Both teams rank similarly in adjOFF SQ and adjDEF SQ, but the shot-making metrics make the difference for me. Memphis is in the 60th percentile in offensive shot-making but 8th in its defensive counterpart. Houston is 169th in offensive shot-making but 88th in the essential defensive category. Additionally, both defenses are elite in the open three-rate metric, illustrating that the under on the total is the play.