March 28 (UPI) -- The Houston Rockets are showing their support for the University of Houston ahead of the Cougars' Friday Sweet 16 matchup against the Kentucky Wildcats in Kansas.
"I'm happy for them. I was texting with coach [Kelvin Sampson] yesterday. That's better for the city and those guys play hard, they play the right way," Rockets guard Chris Paul told the Houston Chronicle.
"Me and P.J. Tucker actually played for coach Sampson when we were in college. So I'm always happy to see him doing well."
The Cougars enter the game with a mark of 33-3, and will need a big night from leading scorer Corey Davis Jr. (17.1 points per game) They also hope that leading rebounder Armoni Brooks has a big night on the boards.
Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni has been keeping a close eye on Houston, and thinks they have want it takes to get past Kentucky in the Sweet 16 battle.
"They're a good team, really good team," D'Antoni said. "Obviously exciting for the city of Houston I would think, especially if you went to Houston."
Kentucky, at 29-6, will enter the game coming off a 62-56 win over Wofford, and will be pushed by Houston's defense, which boasted the best defensive shooting percentage in the nation this year.
If there is one edge for the Wildcats, it's the tenure and experience of coach John Calipari, who has been with the program for 10 seasons, and 11-3 in coaching games in which his team made the Sweet 16.