Cougars ready for first round matchup against Northern Kentucky in NCAA Tournament

The University of Houston men's basketball team opens up NCAA Tournament play Thursday night when they face the 16th-seeded Northern Kentucky Norse inside Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA - MARCH 15: Marcus Sasser #0 of the Houston Cougars shoots the ball during a practice session ahead of the first round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Legacy Arena at the BJCC on March 15, 2023 in Birmingham, Alabama. (

The Cougars point out -- Northern Kentucky is not your typical 16-seed, and is capabale of pulling off the upset. Five years ago, Maryland-Baltimore County became the first 16-seed to upset a 1-seed, when UMBC knocked off Virginia. 

RELATED: University of Houston Cougars preparing for first-round NCAA Tournament game in Birmingham, AL

UH also isn't looking ahead, or thinking about the fact they're just six wins away from the program's first national title. 

Click the video above to hear from the Cougars ahead of Thursday night's match-up.