The Oregon State Beavers have taken the entire March Madness tournament by surprise, winning their first three games and reaching their first Elite Eight since 1966. The Beavers will take on the 2nd-seeded Houston Cougars, hoping to keep momentum through another upset victory. Houston cruised past Syracuse in their Sweet Sixteen matchup, improving to 27-3 in the college season.
Fixture: Oregon State Beavers vs. Houston Cougars - March Madness: Elite Eight
Date & Time: Monday, March 29th, 2021, 7:15 PM ET
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
Oregon State Beavers Preview
The Oregon State Beavers will be heavy underdogs in this Elite Eight matchup, but their underdog status has become familiar territory recently. The Beavers have caused three upsets in their three victories so far, taking down the 4th, 5th and 8th seeds as the 12-seed in the Midwest region.
The Beavers defense has been outstanding thus far, allowing just 61.3 points through their first three tournament games. Oregon State will rely on defense once again as they prepare to take on the talented Houston Cougars.
Key Player - Ethan Thompson
The key contributor for the Oregon State Beavers is guard Ethan Thompson. The 6'5" senior has come through in back-to-back games to help Oregon State reach the Elite Eight, most recently scoring 22 points against Loyola Chicago.
Thompson will likely match up with Houston star Quentin Grimes, making for an intriguing battle on both ends of the floor. If Ethan Thompson is able to get to the bucket with similar efficiency on Monday, the Oregon State Beavers could cause another huge upset.
Oregon State Beavers Predicted Lineup
C Roman Silva, F Warith Alatishe, G Jarod Lucas, G Zach Reichle, G Ethan Thompson
Houston Cougars Preview
The Houston Cougars put on a defensive clinic in their Sweet Sixteen matchup, holding the Syracuse Orange to just 46 points on the way to an easy 16-point victory. With the win, Houston advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1984.
The Cougars averaged just under 78 points per game during the regular season, but their offense has not been as explosive in the NCAA Tournament. If Houston is able to find their groove offensively, they should have no problem taking care of the Oregon State Beavers on Monday.
Key Player - Quentin Grimes
Houston Cougars star guard Quentin Grimes may not be lighting up the stat sheets, but he made big plays to help the Houston Cougars win on Saturday. Grimes finished with just 14 points against Syracuse, but his effort on the defensive end proved to be huge down the stretch.
Grimes has led the Houston Cougars in scoring for the entirety of the season, averaging 18 points per game on 41.1% shooting. The skilled junior will need another strong performance on both ends if his Cougs are going to outlast the surging Beavers.
Houston Cougars Predicted Lineup
F Justin Gorham, F Reggie Chaney, F DeJon Jarreau, G Quentin Grimes, G Marcus Sasser
Oregon State vs Houston Prediction
The Houston Cougars will be heavy favorites in this matchup, given their high-powered offense and suffocating defense. But the Cougars will not reach the Final Four without a fight, as the Oregon State Beavers have proven themselves to be a legitimate threat. With their recent dominance on the defensive end, the Beavers could hang around long enough to shock the Cougars. Nonetheless, Houston will have the edge in this battle and should be moving on to the Final Four.
Where to watch Oregon State vs Houston
The game will be broadcast live on CBS.