Houston, Texas- - The University of Houston men's basketball team will be among 40 teams playing in the 2005 NIT Postseason Tournament when the Cougars travel to Wichita State University on Wednesday, March 16. The game tips off at 7:00 p.m.
Houston enters the NIT with an 18-13 overall record under Tom Penders, who is in his first season at UH. The 18 victories are more than Houston had the last two years combined. The Cougars won nine games last season after winning eight games in 2002-03.
The Cougars also tripled their wins in Conference USA and tied a school record for the most C-USA wins with nine this year. Houston finished this season with a 9-7 C-USA mark, and won nine league games in 2001-02 when UH played in a NIT game at Vanderbilt. The Cougars finished that season with an 18-15 overall record.
Wichita State is playing in its third straight postseason tournament and has won 20 games in each of the last two seasons. The Shockers were 20-9 this season after winning 21 games in 2003-04.
This will be Houston's eighth overall appearance in the NIT, and the Cougars have a 4-7 overall record in the Tournament. Houston played in the NIT in 1962, 1977, 1985, 1988, 1991, 1993 and 2002. The Cougars' best showing was in 1977 when Houston advance to the championship game against St. Bonaventure.
The Cougars lost their last three NIT first round games at Stanford in 1991, at UTEP in 1993 and at Vanderbilt in 2002. Houston's last win in the NIT came against Fordham in the first round of the 1988 NIT at Hofheinz Pavilion.