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NCAA Tournament NOTES: 3-seed Houston vs 14-seed Georgia State

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The Saxenian Family

UPDATED: March 22, 2019 -- 7:23 a.m. CDT

POSTED: March 21, 2019 -- 11:50 a.m. CDT

The No. 3 seed Houston Cougars (31-3) will face the No. 14 seed Georgia State Panthers (24-9) Friday, at 6:20 p.m. (Central Time), in the NCAA Tournament. The game will be shown on TBS.

Both teams are in the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. Friday's match-up will be the first meeting between the two programs.

The Panthers won the Sun Belt Conference Tournament for a second consecutive year and enter the NCAA Tournament having won five in a row games and eight of 9. Georgia State's 24 wins are tied for the fourth-most in program history. On offense, the Panthers have knocked down a school-record 324 3-pointers, while shooting a school-record 38.8 percent from beyond the arc. On defense, the Panthers join only Duke and Auburn with four or more players with 25 or more blocked shots this season, while also forcing 8.0 steals per game, which is ranked No. 24 in the NCAA.

Georgia State is the ONLY program in the country to feature four players who have made at least 50 3-pointers this season. Devin Mitchell (82), Malik Benlevi (74), Jeff Thomas (70) and D'Marcus Simonds (56) make up one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country. The Panthers shoot 38.8% from three this season making 9.8 threes out of 25.3 attempts per game. Opponents shoot 33.0% from three (8.9 threes made out of 27.2 threes per game).

The Saxenian Family

Five members of Georgia State's squad are averaging in double figures. Eight different players have started for the Panthers this season and all 8 average double digits minutes per game.

In four of their last 5 games, the Panthers starting five was: D'Marcus Simonds (6'3, 195); Malik Benlevi (6'6, 225); Jeff Thomas (6'5, 190); Kane Williams (6'3, 190); and Damon Wilson (6'5, 200). Devin Mitchell (6'4, 190) is the Panthers' key reserves off the bench.

Simonds leads the team in scoring averaging 18.4 points per game; followed by Mitchell's 12.2 ppg; Benlevi's 12.1; Thomas' 11.7 ppg and Williams' 11.3 ppg.

Georgia State averages 32.8 rebounds per game; however, the Panthers' opponents pulled down 38.9 rebounds per game this season.

Georgia State is 22-0 when leading at halftime this season, the second-most wins without a loss at halftime in the country, just behind Gonzaga's 25-0 mark. This season, the Panthers overcame five deficits of at least eight points this season, including two of 18 points or greater.

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Houston leads the nation in field-goal percentage defense (.367) and ranks second in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.276). Houston also ranks eighth in scoring defense (61.2), eighth in scoring margin (+14.4) and eighth in total rebounds per game (40.9 rpg).

Houston shoots 35.9% from three (9.2 made out of 25.6 per game).

Houston has two players who average double digits points per game. Senior guard Corey Davis Jr. leads Houston with 16.7 points per game. Junior guard Armoni Brooks is next averaging 13.6 points per game. Brooks leads the team with 6.5 rebounds per game.

Senior guard Galen Robinson Jr leads Houston with 4.9 assists per game. Robinson scored 8.0 points per game. Redshirt-sophomore guard DeJon Jarreau ranks third on the team with 8.9 points per game. Jarreau also averages 3.4 assists per game.

Freshman Nate Hinton is next in scoring with 7.6 points per game. Hinton posted his first double-double of the season, on March 10, at No. 24 / 23 Cincinnati, when he scored 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in Houston's 85-69 win to clinch the outright league title.

Ten different players average double digits minutes per game for Houston.

The winner of the Houston - Georgia State game would face the winner of (6) Iowa State-(11) Ohio State on Sunday inside the BOK Center in Tulsa. Time and broadcasting network for that game will be announced at a later date.

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