TCU’s Dixon says next two games crucial for NCAA purposes

TCU men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon cites the Horned Frogs’ next two games, against Oklahoma State and Iowa State, as crucial because all three teams are vying for at-large NCAA Tournament berths that figure to be determined by the final Big 12 standings.

The Horned Frogs (17-8, 6-6 in Big 12) are fifth in the league standings heading into Wednesday’s 8 p.m. game in Fort Worth against Oklahoma State (16-9, 5-7). The Cowboys share sixth place in the Big 12 standings. Iowa State (15-9, 7-5), a team the Frogs defeated 84-77 on Jan. 14 in Fort Worth, holds down the fourth spot but will meet TCU on Saturday in Ames, Iowa.

“We’ve got to take a step these next two games,” Dixon said before Monday’s practice. “Somebody’s going to get better over these last six games and someone’s going to get worse.”

TCU guard Kenrich Williiams said the Frogs must “come out and play harder” from the start in Wednesday’s matchup against Oklahoma State, a team that defeated the Frogs, 89-76, last month in Stillwater, Okla. TCU last reached the NCAA Tournament in 1998.

Jimmy Burch: 817-390-7760, @Jimmy_Burch