TCU men’s basketball is on the verge of its first NCAA Tournament invitation in 20 years.
A win over Baylor on Saturday could be enough for the Horned Frogs to punch their ticket to this year’s edition of March Madness. TCU also has a home contest vs. Kansas State and an away game at No. 6 Texas Tech before the regular season concludes.
And should coach Jamie Dixon lead his team into the tournament, opponents can’t afford to underestimate a program that was once the doormat of the Big 12 Conference.
Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News wrote on Thursday that if the Horned Frogs make in it, they could easily prove to be the dark-horse contender among Big 12 teams in the mix.
“If you’re looking for a less obvious chance, give me TCU — if the Horned Frogs actually make the NCAA tourney. Remember, the same group had a very successful NIT run last season and were very strong in the non-conference. The Horned Frogs are very balanced and shoot the ball very well. They won’t be an easy out in the tourney. And Jamie Dixon knows what he’s doing.”
Dixon, in his second season with the team, currently has TCU sitting 7-8 in Big 12 and 19-9 overall. His debut season in Fort Worth culminated in an NIT Championship. The Horned Frogs defeated UCF in the tournament semifinals before toppling Georgia Tech for the title. TCU also posted a victory over No. 1 Kansas in the Big 12 Championship Tournament earlier that season.
Dixon, who played at TCU in the 1980s, now has a chance to add the most important chapter yet to what has been a remarkable turnaround at his alma mater. The Horned Frogs have already achieved their fare share of impressive feats this season, including a win over No. 7 West Virginia in January, the team’s first road win over Oklahoma State in nearly a century, and its first triumph at Iowa State in 35 years on Wednesday night.
But a trip to the NCAA Tournament would stand tall above everything else.
Having already defeated respectable non-conference foes in the form of Nevada and St. Bonaventure — both who are projected to make the tournament — there’s no reason to believe that TCU can’t make a surprise March Madness run if they get there. It’s now just a waiting game to see if they will get their long-awaited chance next month.
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