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When the Houston Cougars last made the men’s basketball Final Four

The Houston Cougars are joining the field of the Final Four for the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. We break down the program’s Final Four history.

Basketball Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler yells Play Ball prior to Game 6 of the 2019 World Series between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Houston Cougars have returned to the top of the college basketball world for the first time since the Phi Slamma Jamma Era in the 1980’s. The second-seeded Cougars held off a furious comeback by No. 12 Oregon State, winning 67-61 to advance to the national semifinals.

How Houston made the 2021 Final Four

The Cougars were the automatic representative of the American Athletic Conference, winning the league tournament by an average of over 21 points per game. Since the NCAA’s started they got past Cleveland State (87-56), Rutgers (63-60), Syracuse (62-46), and Oregon State (67-61).

When did Houston last appear in the Final Four?

1984 was the last time Houston had gotten this far, the last of three straight Final Four appearances with stars like Ralph Sampson, Clyde Drexler, and Hakeem Olajuwon all starring for those legendary Cougars teams under coach Guy Lewis. The program fell through the floor in the decades after, failing to win another game in the NCAA Tournament until 2017.

How many times has Houston appeared in the Final Four?

This will be the sixth appearance for the Coogs in the last four: 1967 & ‘68 with Elvin Hayes and Don Chaney, and then the Phi Slamma Jamma teams in 1982, ‘83, and ‘84. They’ve never won the national title, but advanced to the championship game in 1983 and 1984.