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The Houston Cougars men’s basketball team, led by head coach Kelvin Sampson, are heading to the NCAA’s men’s basketball Sweet Sixteen. The Cougars beat the Auburn Tigers 81-64 to reach the Sweet Sixteen on Saturday night in Birmingham, Alabama.

Sampson is a tribal citizen of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

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Trailing Auburn by 10 points at half-time, the Houston Cougars came back in the second half to hold the Tigers to only 4 of 24 shots during the half. The Cougars scored 50 points in the second half.

Sampson was born in Laurinberg, N.C. and raised in Pembroke, N.C. — the heart of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. Sampson is the only Native American head coach of a NCAA Division I men's basketball team. 

It is the fourth straight year the Houston Cougars have advanced to the Sweet 16.

Houston will face the winner of Miami and Indiana in the Sweet 16. The game will take place on Friday, March 24 at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The tip-off time will be announced on Sunday.

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