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TCU Basketball Preview: Kansas Jayhawks

Fresh off their first ever win in the Big 12 Tournament, TCU faces the #1 seeded Kansas Jayhawks this afternoon in the Quarterfinals.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: Approx. 1:30pm CDT | Location: Sprint Center - Kansas City, MO
TV: ESPN2 | Series: KU leads 9-1 | Game Line: KU -8.0

There is an old adage in college basketball that gets thrown around this time of year: "It's hard to beat a team three times in one season." The Kansas Jayhawks get to find out whether or not that's true this afternoon.

After winning their first ever game in the Big 12 Tournament, the TCU Horned Frogs are rewarded with a Quarterfinal game against the conference's best team. The Jayhawks enter the Tournament as the #1 overall seed for the 11th time in the 18-year history of the event. Kansas finished the regular season with a 24-7 record overall and a 13-5 mark in conference play. KU wrapped up their 11th consecutive Big 12 Regular Season Championship last week but enters the Tournament with some significant injury issues.

Kansas head coach Bill Self announced this morning that Perry Ellis will not play today. The Jayhawks' leading scorer and rebounder missed their season finale against Oklahoma after suffering a knee injury late against West Virginia on March 3. Ellis averages 14.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game and is the fuel that makes the Jayhawks run. His absence is one of the main storylines heading into the contest.

Freshman forward Cliff Alexander has also been ruled out for today's game as he awaits the outcome of an NCAA investigation looking into potential contact with an NBA agent. Alexander, who averages 7.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, has been sidelined since February 28 when the investigation was launched.

Finally, Brannen Greene and Wayne Selden are expected to return today. Greene missed KU's game in Norman while he served a one-game suspension and Selden left the game early with an ankle injury.

What we do know is that Frank Mason and Kelly Oubre will play. These two guards have been consistent scorers for Kansas throughout much of the season. Mason averages 12.6 points per game and leads the team in assists with 4.1 per game. Oubre usually averages 9.0 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, but in his two games against TCU, he combined for no points and five rebounds. Oubre has been held scoreless just twice since December - both against TCU.

TCU enters the game after holding on for a 67-65 win over Kansas State in last night's First Round. Kyan Anderson and Chris Washburn led the way for the Frogs, each scoring 16 points. Anderson was lethal from deep, shooting 4/7. He also had six assists. Trey Zeigler shot 50% from the field and dropped 15 points. Karviar Shepherd was another bright spot for TCU, scoring nine points and grabbing nine rebounds. The Frogs hit clutch free throws and held off a late Kansas State run to secure the first Big 12 Tournament win since joining the league in 2012.

This afternoon's contest will likely not be your average #1 vs. #9 Quarterfinal game. Kansas swept the season series with TCU, but the Frogs managed to keep things interesting. In the first meeting, the Frogs were a half-court shot that rimmed out away from forcing overtime in Fort Worth. At Allen Fieldhouse, the Jayhawks never really created separation, eventually winning 81-72. That's two games decided by a total of 12 points.

With TCU riding a recent hot streak and Kansas suffering from a handful of late-season injuries, this afternoon's game could be closer than a lot of people expect. An upset win for the Frogs would likely put them in the NIT field, as of right now. A loss, and the Frogs will be sweating on Selection Sunday, with the CBI looking like a potential destination. The winner of this afternoon's Quarterfinal contest will get the winner of this morning's Baylor vs. West Virginia game tomorrow at 6:00pm in the Semifinals.

TCU Projected Starters

Kansas Projected Starters


Kyan Anderson

13.8 ppg, 4.3 apg


Frank Mason, III

12.6 ppg, 4.1 apg


Trey Zeigler

9.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg


Kelly Oubre Jr.

9.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg


Kenrich Williams

8.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg


Wayne Selden Jr.

9.1 ppg, 2.9 apg


Chris Washburn

7.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg


Landen Lucas

3.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg


Karviar Shephed

6.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg


Jamari Traylor

4.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg

Here are some other game notes, provided by

  • TCU is now 1-2 all-time in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship.
  • TCU was receiving votes in February and ranked as high as No. 25 in late December.
  • TCU is 17-3 this season when leading at the half.
  • TCU is 32-7 when leading at the half under head coach Trent Johnson.
  • TCU has now held 30 opponents to 59 points or less under Trent Johnson.
  • In three-straight home victories, TCU held Oklahoma State, K-State & Texas Tech to 55 points or below.
  • TCU has out-rebounded its opposition 20 times this season.
  • TCU has already bettered its win total from a year ago and 2011-12.
  • TCU will play its 13th ranked opponent in 20 games vs. No. 9/10 Kansas.
  • Kyan Anderson is No. 6 all-time in scoring in program history with 1,621 points.
  • Anderson needs only 10 more points to surpass Reggie Smith (1,630) for No. 5 all-time in school history.
  • Anderson moved into No. 1 all-time in program history in steals against Oklahoma State with now 168.
  • Kenrich Williams has scored in double-figures in 15 of the 32 games this season.
  • Williams had his second double-double of the season against Texas Tech with a career-high 16 rebounds.
  • Williams scored a career-high 17 points, while dishing a career-high seven assists vs. Iowa State.
  • Trey Zeigler has scored in double-figures in 13 Big 12 games this year after scoring 14 vs. the Cyclones.
  • Amric Fields became the 33rd player in school history reach the 1,000-point club with 14 at OSU.
  • Chris Washburn tallied career-highs in field goals made (8) and attempted (11) against K-State Wednesday.
  • Washburn fell one point shy of tying his career-high in points against the Wildcats.