TCU's first trip to the NCAA tournament didn't just happen overnight. It took some big wins against ranked teams and a 12-0 run in non-conference play to build up a strong enough resume to earn a No. 6 seed.
The Horned Frogs (21-11), who open the Detroit Regional at 8:40 p.m. Friday against either Arizona State or Syracuse, battled through a rough stretch in the Big 12, including five losses by a combined 16 points (and four overtime periods). They regrouped after injuries thinned their benched for several weeks and responded with a late, four-game win streak. Here's a look at five important wins leading to TCU's first NCAA tournament appearance since 1998.
Moments to remember
vs. Nevada, Dec. 8
The Frogs improved to 10-0 in non-conference play with an 84-80 win against Nevada at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Jaylen Fisher led TCU with 20 points and Kenrich Williams added 16 points and 11 rebounds. TCU won two more games before losing its first game of the year, the Big 12 opener against Oklahoma. The Wolf Pack won the Mountain West regular-season title and opens as a No. 7 seed against No. 10 Texas.
at Baylor, Jan. 2
After a gut-wrenching one-point loss to the Sooners at home to open Big 12 action, the Frogs responded with their first win against Baylor since Dec. 7, 2002. Vladimir Brodziansky hit a 3-pointer with 1:29 left in overtime to give TCU a one-point lead and Kouat Noi added two baskets, including a game-clinching dunk in the final 47 seconds, to seal an 81-78 overtime win for the Frogs.
vs. West Virginia, Jan. 22
TCU had lost four of its previous five games in the Big 12 when the Mountaineers came to Fort Worth for a Big Monday on ESPN. The Frogs' 82-73 win over then No. 7-ranked WVU was their first win against the Mountaineers in 12 meetings. It was the first time TCU had hosted a Big Monday game and first win against a top 10 team since upsetting No. 5 Kansas in 2013.
vs. Texas, Feb. 10
TCU had lost its previous two games to Kansas and Texas Tech. The 12-point home loss to the Red Raiders was especially vexing and had some questioning how good the Frogs really were. They responded with a dominating performance against the Longhorns, avenging an overtime loss in Austin with an 87-71 thumping. It was TCU's largest win over Texas since 1987 and a reminder that the Frogs could be a dangerous team. Brodziansky led all scorers with 25 points and Noi and Desmond Bane combined to make 7 of 10 3-point attempts.
at Iowa State, Feb. 21
Why was beating the last-placed Cyclones important? Because beating Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, is never easy (ask Texas Tech and West Virginia this year). Also, the Frogs were in dire need of some positive momentum in the Big 12. Their 89-83 win gave them consecutive wins in the Big 12 for the first time this season and was part of a four-game win streak.