GSU coach Ron Hunter has had success in the tournament before — he led the Panthers to an upset of Baylor in 2015. But this time, his team was overmatched. Simonds, the team's top scorer, returns next season, but the next three scorers — Devin Mitchell, Jeff Thomas and Malik Benlevi — are seniors.
After reaching the national final in 1984, Houston went more than three decades without winning an NCAA Tournament game. Now, the Cougars have tourney wins in back-to-back seasons and are starting to resemble the program that has five Final Four appearances and produced stars including Elvin Hayes, Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Fabian White had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Breaon Brady added 13 for Houston (32-3).
Houston rolled out to a 15-3 lead in the first five minutes, and the rout was on. The Cougars shot 52 percent to lead 40-31 at halftime, and then opened the second half on a 10-2 run to put the game out of reach.