TCU March Madness: Latest NCAA Tournament Chances for Horned Frogs

Getty Kouat Noi #12 of the TCU Horned Frogs drives the ball on a fast break during the game against the Kansas Jayhawks.

On Feb. 9, the TCU Horned Frogs had just topped No. 17 Iowa State by 9 to move to 17-6. The question wasn’t whether or not head coach Jamie Dixon and company would get an NCAA Tournament bid. It was what seed would they get.

Flash forward to Wednesday night, and TCU has dropped 6 of its last 8 to move to 19-12. This puts them right smack on the bubble as one of the last teams to grab an at-large bid.

The Horned Frogs enter the first round of the Big XII Tournament Wednesday needing to avoid a “bad” loss against Oklahoma State (7 p.m. EST, ESPNU). The Pokes are 12-19 and have split the season series, so an upset would dismantle TCU’s waning hopes to dance.

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Let’s take a look at TCU’s bracketology and resume, including a peek at best wins and losses.

TCU NCAA Tournament Resume

The Horned Frogs roared to a 11-1 start in the non-conference. The only blemish was an upset to Atlantic Sun champion Lipscomb. Dixon tried to schedule decently, but victories over Southern Cal and SMU have diminished with time (neither team is ranked higher than No. 96 in the NET rankings).

An 8-point win over 22-8 Fresno State is fine, but the real difference-maker was a 55-50 triumph over fellow bubble team Florida on Jan. 26.

Turning to Big XII play, TCU pumped out just a 7-11 conference mark. That included sweeps over another bubble team in Texas, as well as the Cyclones. That also includes losses to a pair of 12-19 teams in Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

The highs are only decently high, but the lows have been bad. A home overtime loss to Kansas likely would’ve made the difference if the result flipped.

TCU Bracketology Breakdown

ESPN’s John Gasaway stated entering Wednesday that the Horned Frogs’ win over Texas in the regular-season finale has given them the momentum to clinch a bid this week.

You have to tip your cap to the Horned Frogs. Going into the game at Texas, this bunch from Fort Worth had possibly the least promising spot in the history of teams on the “first four out” list. Now, after winning 69-56 in Austin, Jamie Dixon’s men are in position to lock down a bid with a strong showing at the Big 12 tournament. The season sweep of Iowa State that was looking like it would be a moot point can now be touted on the profile of a team that captured a third Quad 1 win, convincingly, on the final day of the regular season. TCU was given a chance, and the Horned Frogs took it.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had the Tigers as one of his “Last Four In” in his latest bracketology. That would mean a trip to Dayton for the First Four, which would put them for the No. 12 seed with however replaces Clemson (who lost to NC State in the ACC second round . The Midwest Regional against No. 5 seed Auburn and possibly No. 4 seed Wisconsin would await.

CBS’s Jerry Palm presents a more optimistic scenario, slating them for the No. 10 seed against Auburn out West. He did mention in his own Bubble Watch that TCU will clinch if they avoid the upset Wednesday.

TCU also limped home, losing six of its last eight. The two wins were big though, coming at home to Iowa State and at Texas. A win on Wednesday puts the Horned Frogs off the bubble and in the field.

Bracket Matrix aggregates several prognostications from across the internet. The Gaels appeared on 106 of them, and averaged out to an 10.66. That would mean either an 10, 11 or 12-seed.

It’s pretty simple. Win the season series against Oklahoma State. Even in Fort Worth, the Horned Frogs only beat the Cowboys by 2. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s the only option they have to punch their March Madness ticket.

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