March 29 (UPI) -- The second-seeded Houston Cougars held on for a 67-61 win over the upset-minded Oregon State Beavers on Monday night in the Elite Eight of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, reaching the Final Four for the first time in nearly four decades.
It will be Houston's sixth Final Four appearance and first since head coach Guy Lewis and star big man Hakeem Olajuwon led the Cougars to the 1984 championship game. They lost to Patrick Ewing and the Georgetown Hoyas in that title game.
Houston will face No. 1 seed Baylor in the national semifinals.
The Cougars (28-3) built a 17-point lead in the first half but found themselves hanging on late as the 12th-seeded Beavers attempted to earn another upset victory in the Midwest Region.
Houston converted enough free throws down the stretch and held Oregon State without a basket over a critical three-minute span late in the second half to clinch the win.
"When it got close, coach [Kelvin Sampson] just told us to stay tough and stay poised," Houston guard Quentin Grimes said of the team's blown lead. "And that's what we did. Toughest team won, and that was us today."
Marcus Sasser led the Cougars with 20 points on 5-of-19 shooting. Grimes added 18 points and four assists, while DeJon Jarreau -- the American Athletic Conference's Defensive Player of the Year -- recorded 10 points, eight assists and eight rebounds.
Maurice Calloo scored 13 points to pace Oregon State (20-13), which was trying to become the highest-seeded team ever to reach the Final Four.
Ethan Thompson, who was named the most outstanding player of the Midwest Region, had 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Also Monday, the top-seeded Baylor Bears advanced to the Final Four for the first time since 1950 after their 81-72 win over No. 3 seed Arkansas.
Macio Teague led Baylor (26-2) with 22 points on 8-of-18 shooting. Jared Butler scored 14 points, while Davion Mitchell added 12. Adam Flagler finished with 10 points and three assists.
Davonte Davis and J.D. Notae each scored 14 points for the Razorbacks (25-7). Jalen Tate notched 13 points and four rebounds, and Moses Moody had 11 points. Justin Smith added 10 points and six rebounds.