These are the habits of a grinder, a man who, as a young head coach in the Pac-12, admitted to having an inferiority complex about his abilities. As a result of this condition, he now believes, the coach you see today was born, the one who stands in a dimly lit hallway of the PPG Paints Arena after leading the Houston Cougars to their third consecutive Sweet 16 appearance. This team follows in the footsteps of its coach, and boy does this one. The Houston Hustle was on full display play tic tac toe on Sunday afternoon when the No. 5 seed Cougars defeated the Big Ten regular-season champion Illinois. This rout of 68–53 felt like a rock fight in the middle of the street between two neighborhood rivals, which is exactly what it was. However, while Illinois possessed the bigger rock in the form of 7-foot-285-pound beast of a center in Kofi Cockburn, Houston's weapons had been hardened by weeks of intense training.