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All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

Delaney Vega, a TCU journalism junior, is painting a school in Belize. (Courtesy of Teja Sieber)
“The week of joy”: Christ Chapel College’s annual trip to Belize
By Ella Schamberger, Staff Writer
Published Apr 23, 2024
174 students, a record number, went on this year's trip.

TCU secures place in NCAA tournament for third year in a row

The 9-seed Frogs will travel to Indianapolis to face the 8-seed Utah State Aggies, looking to advance to the round of 32.
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
TCU guard Jameer Nelson Jr. (4) shoots between Houston forward J’Wan Roberts (13) and guard Mylik Wilson (8) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Conference tournament, Thursday, March 14, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

For the third consecutive year, the TCU Horned Frogs punched their ticket to the NCAA tournament. The 9-seed Frogs will travel to Indianapolis to face the 8-seed Utah State Aggies in a win-or-go-home matchup on Friday.

This is the first time in program history that TCU has made it to the Big Dance three years in a row.

“A lot of work has gone into this program over the past four years I’ve been here, and I want to end it with a bang,” said Chuck O’Bannon Jr.

In 2023 and 2022, the Frogs exited the tournament in the second round. Last year, the Frogs fell to Gonzaga by three, 84-81, despite a lead at halftime. In 2022, 8-seed TCU fell by five, 85-80, in overtime to the 1-seed Arizona Wildcats. Three Frogs scored 20 or more points in the matchup: Former players Eddie Lampkin Jr. and Mike Miles Jr., and current forward Chuck O’Bannon Jr.

In the four times head coach Jamie Dixon has been apart of TCU’s tournament run, the team has not made it past the round of 32.

“We’ve played in many big games and many big moments and we’re prepared for it,” JaKobe Coles said. “It’s not about the pressure, it’s about the execution.”

TCU and Utah State have similar team makeups with fresh slates of players. For the Aggies, there isn’t one player on their current roster that scored a single point last year, which was head coach Danny Spinkle’s first season with the team.

The Frogs have some returning veterans such as Emanuel Miller, Micah Peavy, JaKobe Coles, Chuck O’Bannon Jr. and Xavier Cork, but had big gaps to fill in the absence of former TCU guards Mike Miles Jr., Damian Baugh and Shahada Wells.

Head coach Jamie Dixon brought in guards Avery Anderson III, Trevian Tennyson and Jameer Nelson Jr. and center Ernest Udeh Jr. to bring balance back to the team.

The offensive power of each team will be tested with Utah State’s leading scorer Great Osbor averaging just over 18 points per game. TCU’s Miller stands at 15.9. He has nine games with over 20 points and is looking to extend that streak with a deep run in the tournament.

Nelson has been an offensive key for TCU, but this tournament means a little bit more. His father, Jameer Nelson Sr., led Saint Joseph’s to the Elite Eight 20 years ago.

To be successful in the NCAA tournament, TCU’s offense needs to match the level of their defense. It’s been an emphasis during conference play that the Frogs have a strong defense, usually creating turnovers which end up with points on the board.

Although the Frogs fell to No. 1 Houston in the Big 12 tournament, they still out-rebounded the Cougars 55-39, with 30 of those from the second half alone.

In the same game, a common trend occurred again. The Frogs fell behind by 15 points going into halftime, outscored their opponent in the second half, but still came up short.

Playing consistently at a high level through both halves will be a point of emphasis going into the tournament.

TCU will tip-off against Utah State at 8:55 p.m. CST and will be aired on TBS.

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