TCU

‘We’re good enough.’ TCU isn’t giving up on NCAA dreams

TCU’s Jamie Dixon did not see the losing streak coming

TCU basketball coach Jamie Dixon reacts to his team losing six of seven games, and putting its NCAA Tourney hopes in doubt.
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TCU basketball coach Jamie Dixon reacts to his team losing six of seven games, and putting its NCAA Tourney hopes in doubt.

Kansas State coach Bruce Weber believes the Big 12 has eight worthy teams for the NCAA tournament. TCU coach Jamie Dixon agrees.

Dixon isn’t ready to write his team out of the Big Dance despite losing for the sixth time in the last seven games, a 64-52 loss to K-State on Monday night.

It left TCU with an overall record of 18-12 and a Big 12 record of 6-11.

“We’ve got six losses to Kansas State, Texas Tech and Kansas. I mean, there’s a lot of teams in the tournament that aren’t going to beat those teams,” Dixon said. “So we’re good enough, but we’re in a situation where someone’s got to lose in this league and we’ve lost some home games that you’ve got to find a way to win.”

Now, TCU finds itself in almost a must-win situation going into the regular-season finale at Texas on Saturday. If the Frogs win that game, and one more in the Big 12 tournament next week, that will put them at the 20-win mark with a season sweep of Iowa State and other solid wins over Baylor and Florida.

All hope might not be lost if they don’t reach the 20-win mark too. After all, several of this year’s “bubble” teams are struggling to put together a stretch run.

But TCU surely doesn’t want to bank on a “soft” bubble. Instead, it’d like to win its way in and go into March Madness with a little bit of momentum.

“Every bubble team seems to lose, so let’s find out what happens if we go win Saturday,” Dixon said. “I tell them during the game that I believe we can get better. I tell them after the game I believe we can play better.

“We are going to play our best game Saturday. That’s what I told our guys. We are going to find a way to play our best defense, our best game, and get a win.”

That could help solidify TCU’s case. This is a program that went into Monday’s game ranked No. 48 in the NCAA’s NET rankings.

Plus, it isn’t believed a conference has ever sent 80 percent of its leagues team into the NCAA tournament. That’s the percentage the Big 12 would have if eight received bids.

Dixon and Weber feel that’s justified.

“Certainly the teams are good enough, we proved that in the non conference,” Dixon said. “Now because we’re beating each other up, somebody’s got to lose. That doesn’t mean that we’re not the best teams. Eight of the 10 teams should be in.

“They’re going to say what our conference record is … put some other teams in this conference and see how they end up.”

Added Weber: “The balance of the league is so special. People don’t understand you play everyone twice like this and it is hard. It is hard. I’m hoping for eight. We should’ve had eight last year.”

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Drew Davison is the TCU and Big 12 sports writer for the Star-Telegram. He’s covered everything in DFW from Rangers to Cowboys to motor sports.

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