TCU knows its backs are against a wall to reach the NCAA Tournament for a second consecutive year. The Frogs are in essentially a must-win situation when they travel to face the Texas Longhorns in Austin on Saturday.
Why else is Saturday so important?
TCU likely secures its spot in the 68-team field if it gets to the 20-win mark. The easiest path to that is by winning at Texas, which will be without leading scorer Kerwin Roach II, and then in the first-round of the Big 12 Tournament next week.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
TCU is locked in as the No. 8-seed of the conference tournament, and will face either Oklahoma State or West Virginia at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. The winner then faces the No. 1-seed on Thursday.
The Frogs shouldn’t like their chances of beating the top-seed in the conference tournament, either Texas Tech or Kansas State. Each swept them in the regular-season series.
TCU has at least beaten Texas earlier this season, and split the season series with Oklahoma State and West Virginia. That’s a much easier route than hoping to knock off a rested Big 12 champion a day after a depleted TCU team played.
Either way, TCU has its work cut out.
The good news is that Roach remains sidelined for Texas after violating team rules, the Austin American-Statesman reported. Roach is expected to return for the Big 12 Tournament, but will not play against TCU on Senior Day.
Roach is the Longhorns’ leading scorer, and led the team with 15 points in the first meeting against TCU in Fort Worth.