Smith: Longtime UH trainer's devotion rewarded with March Madness

UH’s trainer had other job options: Cincinnati, Florida. But there was “never a reason to leave” the Coogs and his devotion has been rewarded with back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.

“Now, it becomes expected,” Houston said. “It’s very cool going into this being a three seed.”

This is how it used to be for UH basketball: “We were standing still and everybody was like, shoom, shoom, shoom, passing us,” he said.

This is how it is now for the Cougars as they return to the madness of March: “Everybody is, ‘How can I help?’ Not, ‘What can I get?’ ” Houston said.