No. 6 seed Houston faces 11-seed San Diego State in West

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — No. 6 seed Houston (26-7) vs. No. 11 seed San Diego State (22-10)

First round, West Region; Wichita, Kansas; Thursday, 7:20 p.m. EDT

BOTTOM LINE: Led by star guard Rob Gray, Houston's run to the American Athletic Conference title game locked up an at-large bid to the Cougars' first NCAA Tournament since 2010. San Diego State won the Mountain West with first-year coach Brian Dutcher on the sideline.

SAMPSON'S HARDWARE: Houston coach Kelvin Sampson earned the AAC's coach of the year award earlier this week, his fifth such award from four different leagues. Sampson became the 14th coach to take four or more schools to the NCAA Tournament this year.

KELL ME MORE: Aztecs guard Trey Kell missed three games to an ankle injury, but his return has coincided with a nine-game win streak. Kell averaged 18.3 points during the Mountain West Tournament, including a 28-point effort against New Mexico in the title game.

POSTSEASON DROUGHT: The once-proud Cougars have been to five Final Fours, including three straight from 1982-84. But the latter of those was also the last time they won an NCAA Tournament game.

DID YOU KNOW: The Aztecs are making their ninth NCAA Tournament appearance in the past 19 years, all of which have occurred with Dutcher on the bench. He was an assistant to former coach Steve Fisher for the first eight, including two Sweet 16 trips.


More AP college basketball: and\_Top25

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