The Houston Cougars squeaked past Northern Kentucky on Thursday in their March Madness opening round win. They did so without star point guard Marcus Sasser playing in the second half due to injury. Sasser has been dealing with a groin injury that kept him out of Houston’s loss in the AAC Tournament championship game against Memphis. The Cougars were able to get past Northern Kentucky but just barely as the upstart No. 16 seed put up a fight. If Houston wishes to advance in the NCAA Tournament, they will need their floor general on the court. Sasser is expected to play in their second round March Madness game against Auburn as per Jeff Goodman of Stadium.

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Marcus Sasser is a senior in his fourth season with Houston. He is projected to be a second round pick in the upcoming NBA draft. This season Sasser has been averaging 16.7 points per game, 2.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.6 steals with shooting splits of 43.9 percent shooting from the field, 38.2 percent shooting from the three-point line and 84 percent shooting from the free-throw line. Over the duration of his four years at Houston, Sasser holds career averages of 13.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 steals with shooting splits of 40.5 percent from the field, 36.8 percent from the three-point line and 81.9 percent from the free-throw line.

As per Goodman, Sasser was apparently able to play in the second half against Northern Kentucky but the coaching staff made the decision to hold him out. As the NCAA Tournament continues, depending on how far Houston advances, Marcus Sasser’s injury will be a storyline to monitor.