With nine wins in its last 10 games dating back to an impressive 20-point victory over Wichita State on Jan. 21, Memphis enters Sunday's showdown at No. 9 Houston as one of the hottest teams in the country. But even with all their recent success, the Tigers (15-6, 11-3 AAC) are still on the outside looking in at the NCAA Tournament field, according to Jerry Palm's Bracketology.

A win over the Cougars (20-3, 13-3) would go a long way towards bolstering Memphis' case for an at-large bid entering next week's conference tournament. But while their first game with Houston represents a great opportunity for the Tigers to build their resume, the Cougars also represent the toughest challenge Memphis has faced this season. Coach Kelvin Sampson's squad is allowing just 58.6 points per game in league contests, which is the top mark in the AAC.

After losses to East Carolina and Wichita State on Feb. 3 and Feb. 18, Houston has regained its form as of late with by winning three straight against Cincinnati, Western Kentucky and South Florida by an average margin of 36 points. As a projected No. 2 seed for the NCAA Tournament, the Cougars are looking to close the season strong, and knocking off a surging Memphis team in need of a marquee win would be a nice statement for Houston as the regular season comes to a close.

Viewing information 

  • When: Saturday, 12 p.m. ET
  • Where: Fertitta Center in Houston
  • TV: CBS | Live stream:  CBSSports.comCBS Sports App (Free)
  • OTT: CBS Sports App (Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast)

Game prediction, pick 

Latest Odds: Houston Cougars -10

These are the two best defenses in the AAC, and you can expect the Tigers to ratchet the pressure up even further as they scrap for an NCAA Tournament bid. In the end, Memphis has more to play for and has been shooting well enough recently to squeak out a win. Prediction: Memphis 64, Houston 60 (Memphis +9.5)

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