HOUSTON — From trending on social media to fans celebrating by buying up more team swag, Sunday was a big day for Houston-area college teams! 

KHOU 11 News is teaming up with the University of Houston for a March Madness Watch Party on Friday. 

It will be on the plaza at Avenida Houston, outside of the downtown KHOU 11 News studios at the George R. Brown.  

Festivities begin at 5 p.m. The UH cheer and dance teams will be present along with UH mascots Shasta and Sasha.

The Cougars are returning to the tournament for a second time in a row. 

With a record of 31-3, the UH Coogs are going into the tournament as the third seed in the midwest region. 

Academy Sports and Outdoors says March Madness gear will be in Houston area stores before UH takes the court in Tulsa at 6:40 p.m. Friday. 

The Coogs will play the Georgia State Panthers.

"I believe in my Cougars," said Don Scherer a 66-year-old architect and 1978 UH graduate. 

He stood out in the crowd on Sunday with a custom Cougar head. He's worn the plastic piece for the last 40 years to more than 700 UH games. It's safe to call Scherer a die-hard fan! 

"I’ve got my reservations in Minneapolis for the final four. So I plan to be there,"
 said Scherer who believes UH will go all the way. 

Whether rooting for the team in person or in spirit, UH is thankful for the love.  The university opened the doors of the Fertitta Center to fans looking for a place to watch Sunday's conference championship, which UH lost to Cincinnati, and the announcement of where UH ended up in the tournament. 

Prairie View A&M is also heading to the big dance this year. Less than 24 hours after winning its conference championship, the Panthers made it into the NCAA tournament.  

The men's basketball team will face Fairleigh Dickinson in Dayton, Ohio on Tuesday at 5:40 pm. 

It's Prairie View's first time in the tournament since 1998.

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