Friday, February 23, 2024

College basketball rankings: Houston looks to lock up AAC Tournament title as Marcus Sasser battles injury

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CBS Sports Graphic

Houston won again Saturday to advance into the AAC Tournament final on Selection Sunday but suffered a loss in the process when Marcus Sasser, the reigning American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, had to leave an eventual 69-48 victory over Cincinnati with what’s been labeled as a strained groin.

Will Sasser play Sunday?

“I would probably err on the side of holding him out because of how important next week is,” said Houston coach Kelvin Sampson. “The most important thing is Marcus — not winning. That will always be the case with me. His health going forward is the most important thing here.”

In other words, it’s possible, if not probable, that Houston will be without Sasser when it faces Memphis in the championship game of the AAC Tournament on Sunday afternoon. If so, it’s sensible because, as Sampson indicated, erring on the side of caution is the smart move considering the Cougars will be a No. 1 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament whether they win or lose Sunday.

Houston remains No. 1 in Sunday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings for the 24th consecutive day. The Cougars will take a 13-game winning streak — featuring two victories over Memphis — into Sunday’s game that’s scheduled to tip at 3:15 p.m. ET. They’re listed as 6-point favorites over Penny Hardaway’s Tigers, who are up to 29th in the NET following Saturday’s 94-54 blowout of Tulane and a lock to make the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s game.

Top 25 And 1 rankings

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