TCU turned back the clock and turned up the heat in the Horned Frogs’ pursuit of an NCAA Tournament berth Saturday at Schollmaier Arena.
The Horned Frogs knocked off Texas 78-63 to complete the first season sweep of the Longhorns in 30 years by the men’s basketball program.
Led by a team-high 18 points from forward Vladimir Brodziansky, the Horned Frogs (16-7, 5-5 Big 12) broke open a one-point game over the final 14 minutes, 14 seconds and posted their first double-digit victory against a Big 12 opponent under new coach Jamie Dixon.
Mix in the TCU football team’s 31-9 triumph in Austin in November and Saturday marked the first time for the Horned Frogs to sweep the Longhorns in football and men’s basketball in the same school year since 1958-59.
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TCU did so while decked out in throwback uniforms from that era, adding the final bit of irony to the role reversal theme on a day when the Longhorns (9-14, 3-7) were outshot, outplayed and outrebounded.
“I’m really excited. It’s special to us,” said Dixon, who played point guard for the last TCU basketball team that swept the Longhorns in 1987. “Texas is Texas. It means something and we understand that. I thought it was a great day for TCU. Our fans deserved this. We let them down, I thought, the last couple of home games.”
Based on the reaction from the announced crowd of 6,507 (capacity: 6,700), which serenaded the Longhorns with chants of “Just like football” over the final 90 seconds, the purple partisans were satisfied with what they saw Saturday after recent home losses to No. 2 Baylor and Auburn.
I thought it was a great day for TCU. Our fans deserved this. We let them down, I thought, the last couple of home games.
TCU men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon, on completing the school’s first season sweep of the Longhorns in 30 years as fellow conference members.
That is because the Frogs went on a 7-0 run, including five consecutive points from guard Brandon Parrish, to seize control of a 50-49 game during the second half. TCU eventually built the lead to 14 points twice before hitting the final margin of 15. The Frogs’ fifth win of the season against a conference opponent is the most in any of TCU’s five seasons as a Big 12 member. TCU also defeated Texas 64-61 on Jan. 11 in Austin.
Asked if this team is tracking toward a berth in the NCAA Tournament, Dixon said: “Yeah. There’s no question.”
But he added that the Frogs “can’t have any more” surprise losses between now and the start of March Madness, as they did in last week’s 88-80 setback to Auburn, if they want to earn the school’s first NCAA berth since 1998.
Dixon’s team received kudos Saturday from Texas coach Shaka Smart, who vouched for the Frogs’ NCAA-worthy pedigree, as well as from former Frogs’ standout Kurt Thomas, a 1995 All-American who had his No. 40 jersey retired in a halftime ceremony.
Thomas, who played 18 seasons in the NBA, offered a thumbs-up for Dixon in turning around a program that entered the season with a combined Big 12 record of 8-64.
“As of right now, he’s doing an excellent job,” Thomas said. “I like the way they defend. They really share the ball. We’ve got to always be patient with a coach, but he’s doing pretty good.”
Robinson (17 points, eight assists) and point guard Jaylen Fisher (12 points, five assists) joined Brodziansky as double-digit scorers on Saturday. TCU finished with a 36-29 edge on the boards and shot 51.7 percent from the field, reaching the 50 percent mark for a third consecutive game after a recent shooting slump.
As of right now, he’s doing an excellent job ... We’ve got to always be patient with a coach, but he’s doing pretty good.
Former TCU standout Kurt Thomas, a 1995 All-American, on the progress made this season under Dixon.
“It feels way better when you’re shooting good. It gives us confidence,” said Brodziansky, who connected on 6 of 11 shots. “We played hard and we executed.”
The Frogs built on momentum generated by Wednesday’s 86-80 overtime victory at Kansas State, which Dixon called “a sign of maturity” for a team that has no seniors in its typical starting lineup. Against Texas, the Frogs trailed for only 23 seconds and took the lead for good, 5-2, on Robinson’s 3-pointer with 17:46 remaining in the first half.
Robinson, a Texas A&M transfer and Mansfield Timberview graduate, cited an intangible vibewith helping the Frogs.
“It feels awesome,” Robinson said. “Most of that has to go to the fans. They were extremely loud and that really helped push us. The home-court advantage is huge.”
Big enough Saturday to help carry the Frogs to their first season sweep of Texas in 30 years.
TEXAS (9-14): Allen 9-14 4-6 22, Cleare 5-11 2-3 12, Jones 6-11 1-2 14, Roach 2-6 0-0 5, Davis 3-9 0-0 6, Banks 0-0 0-0 0, Yancy 2-5 0-0 4, Young 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 27-58 7-11 63.
TCU (16-7): Brodziansky 6-11 5-5 18, Miller 3-5 0-0 7, K.Williams 4-9 0-1 9, Robinson 8-15 0-0 17, Fisher 4-7 1-3 12, Washburn 0-0 0-0 0, Shepherd 2-2 1-2 5, Bane 1-5 3-5 5, B.Parrish 2-4 0-0 5. Totals 30-58 10-16 78.
Halftime—TCU 38-35. 3-Point Goals—Texas 2-13 (Roach 1-2, Jones 1-5, Yancy 0-1, Young 0-2, Davis 0-3), TCU 8-21 (Fisher 3-5, B.Parrish 1-1, Brodziansky 1-2, Miller 1-2, K.Williams 1-4, Robinson 1-4, Bane 0-3). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Texas 27 (Allen 9), TCU 33 (K.Williams 8). Assists—Texas 17 (Jones 7), TCU 20 (Robinson 8). Total Fouls—Texas 15, TCU 12. A—6,507 (7,201).
TCU’s milestone moments under Dixon
Most wins in season vs. Big 12 teams: 5
Most road wins in season vs. Big 12 teams: 2
Largest crowd in Schollmaier Arena: 7,276 (Baylor, Jan. 14)
Fastest start by new coach: 8-0
First season sweep of Texas in 30 years
First road win over Texas in 30 years
First win over Iowa State in 20 years