Houston had a historically bad half of basketball against Baylor this afternoon, trailing by 25 points at halftime. It was the kind of performance that makes you wonder where it ranks in NCAA history.
Fortunately for the Cougars, their first-half performance against the Bears on Saturday did not generate the largest halftime deficit in Final Four history. It did, however, rank inside the top four for that category.
The Cougars’ 25-point deficit against the Bears is the fourth-largest deficit in Final Four semifinal history. It’s also the largest blowout in a first half since Kansas dismantled Marquette in 2003.
Kelvin Sampson’s squad still has 20 minutes to pull off a miraculous comeback, but the odds are obviously not in their favor.
Largest halftime deficits in Final Four semifinal history:
33-Michigan St. 50, Penn 17 (1979)
29-Kansas 59, Marquette 30 (2003)
27-UCLA 65, Wichita St. 38 (1965)
25-Baylor 45, Houston 20 (2021)
— David Worlock (@DavidWorlock) April 3, 2021
What was so surprising about Houston’s performance in the first half is that it struggled mightily on the defensive side of the floor. Defense has been the Cougars’ bread and butter throughout this NCAA Tournament.
Marcus Sasser tried his best to keep Houston in the first half, scoring 17 points in the opening frame. It wasn’t enough to keep the score close though since Quentin Grimes and Dejon Jarreau struggled to put the ball in the basket.
The Cougars have come out with a sense of urgency in the second half, slightly trimming the Bears’ lead. We’ll see if they have enough juice to make this game come down to the wire.