No. 16 TCU and head coach Jamie Dixon can’t be happy right now.
Losing three of the first four conference games will do that to a team and its coach.
And in the latest bracket projection from ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, the Horned Frogs dropped from a projected No. 4 seed down to a No. 6 seed in the South Region, where they are slated to play UCLA, a No. 11 seed, in Nashville. That winner would play either 3-seed Xavier or 14-seed Northern Kentucky.
After a 12-0 start to the season in non-conference play, the team’s first two conference losses were frustrating, yet familiar. TCU opened its Big 12 slate with a last-second overtime loss at home to then-No. 12 Oklahoma. Several days later, Dixon’s group rebounded nicely and seemed to exorcise some demons with an overtime road-win over Baylor in Waco.
Wednesday night, TCU let another game slip away. Yes, they were facing a Texas team that was motivated by the news that star guard Andrew Jones had been diagnosed with leukemia. The fact remains that the Horned Frogs are a more well-rounded team than the Longhorns.
Dixon’s players did battle back twice to force two overtimes, but they couldn’t make the big shot when they needed it most. In the end, Texas held on for an emotional 99-98 home victory.
Things won’t get any easier for this TCU team considering its next game is against No. 9 Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon. This will be the second time these two squads have met in roughly the past two weeks, only this time the game will be in Norman.
Other Big 12 Teams Projected to Make Big Dance
Texas Tech - 4-seed in East Region; would play in Dallas against No. 13 Vermont
Baylor - 11-seed in East Region; projected as one of the play-in games with No. 11 Georgia; would play in Nashville
Texas - 9-seed in West Region; would play in Detroit against No. 8 Nevada
Oklahoma - 2-seed in West Region; would play in Wichita against No. 15 Montana
West Virginia - 1-seed in South Region; would play in Pittsburgh against No. 16 Cal State Fullerton
Kansas - 3-seed in Midwest region; would play in Wichita against No. 14 Lipscomb