TCU men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon doesn't hesitate to remind his team of the things the program hasn't done in a really long time, or in some cases, never done.
There have been many to choose from, especially since the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12 Conference in 2012. And there are many more first-time goals ahead for Dixon to dangle in front of his players.
He did it for Saturday's game against Baylor and the Horned Frogs crossed another first off the list.
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The last time the Horned Frogs swept the Bears was during the 1988-89 season when both teams played in the Southwest Conference. The Bears had swept the series for five consecutive seasons in the Big 12.
"I brought that up and I'll bring it up again. Every day I'm coming up with a new first. I mean I just make stuff up too sometimes," Dixon joked. "We can’t go back 100 years ago but we do have to recognize that these guys made a decision to come to TCU when it was down and coming into a new conference and we do need to acknowledge what they've done while also trying to build and get better."
And what they probably accomplished on Saturday they haven't done in 20 years.
The Frogs, alone in fifth place in the Big 12, are now virtually assured of earning their first NCAA tournament berth since 1998, before many players on the team were born. The Bears, who had won five consecutive games before losing to West Virginia and TCU, are sitting on the bubble, along with Texas. Most projections have the Big 12 sending at least seven teams to the tournament.
Alex Robinson led the Frogs with 22 points. Robinson was 5 for 5 from the field in the second half and was 4 of 7 from the free-throw line.
TCU took a five-point lead into halftime. The Bears (17-12, 7-9) dropped a game behind the Frogs in the Big 12 standings. Each team has two regular-season games remaining after Saturday.
TCU has swept Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Baylor this season. Before this season, the Frogs only sweep was against Texas Tech in 2015.
"That’s a long time," Robinson said of the sweep. "It's always a good feeling to sweep anybody in the Big 12, it’s so competitive and [Baylor] had been on a good stretch. This is a big win for us."
Baylor took its first lead 57-56 since the first minute of the game with 8:53 left, but Kouat Noi’s 3-pointer quickly gave it back to TCU. The Frogs outscored the Bears 26 to 15 the final eight minutes.
TCU outrebounded Baylor 34-29 and outshot Baylor 54 to 42.2 percent.
Vladimir Brodziansky led TCU with nine points in the first half and finished with 14. Desmond Bane had 16 points and eight rebounds. Jo Lual-Acuil Jr., who played much of the second half with three fouls, led Baylor with 22 points.
TCU led 33-28 at the half. The Frogs built an 11-point lead but the Bears mounted a comeback to pull within 3 with 1:18 left in the half. TCU started hot from 3-point range, making 4 of 9 before finishing the half missing its last six attempts. Shawn Olden came off the bench to make both 3-point attempts. TCU heated up again in the second half, shooting 69.6 percent, including 3 or 4 3-point attempts.
The Frogs have won three consecutive conference games for the first time this season and for only the second time ever. It's the first win at home against Baylor since Dec. 29, 2001. TCU's win at Baylor on Jan. 2 was its first win in Waco since 2002.
The Frogs' eight wins in the Big 12 are their most league wins since finishing 8-8 in Conference USA in 2005. They've now won 20 games in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1999. The Frogs are at .500 in the league for the first time since that win in Waco when they were 1-1.
"It's tough to get wins in this league," said Bane. "We just stayed together and trusted what we had. We knew we were a good team. We are playing good basketball right now and we're going to continue to play good basketball."
BAYLOR (17-12): Vital 5-10 2-4 12, Lual-Acuil 9-14 4-4 22, Clark 5-10 4-4 14, Lecomte 1-10 2-2 5, Lindsey 1-1 0-0 2, Omot 0-1 0-0 0, Maston 4-10 0-0 8, McClure 2-8 4-4 9. Totals 27-64 16-18 72.
TCU (20-9): Noi 4-11 0-0 11, Brodziansky 4-6 6-8 14, Williams 2-4 0-0 4, Robinson 8-10 4-7 22, Bane 4-7 8-10 16, Hamdy 2-6 1-1 5, Miller 1-3 2-2 4, Olden 2-3 0-0 6. Totals 27-50 21-28 82.
Halftime—TCU 33-28. 3-Point Goals—Baylor 2-8 (Lecomte 1-3, McClure 1-3, Lual-Acuil 0-1, Omot 0-1), TCU 7-19 (Noi 3-7, Olden 2-3, Robinson 2-4, Williams 0-1, Miller 0-2, Bane 0-2). Fouled Out—Lindsey. Rebounds—Baylor 22 (Vital, Clark 5), TCU 31 (Bane 8). Assists—Baylor 14 (Clark 4), TCU 18 (Robinson 6). Total Fouls—Baylor 22, TCU 15. A—6,451 (7,201).