TCU fell 61-60 to West Virginia on Saturday, doing possibly irreparable damage to their NCAA Tournament hopes. The Frogs did everything they could down the stretch, playing fantastic defense in the final few minutes to erase a five-point deficit.
In the end, it was 8-on-5, as a phantom foul was called on Jaylen Fisher with 4 seconds remaining, giving West Virginia the chance to make free throws. They made one, putting them up 61-60, and TCU’s Desmond Bane couldn’t make an open shot at the end to win it.
Fisher led the way for TCU with 18 points on 5-13 shooting, including 3-6 from deep. Vlad and Alex Robinson both scored 11 for TCU, while Kenrich Williams posted another double-double, scoring 10 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.
TCU kept up with the No. 12 team in the country for the entire game, going haymaker for haymaker, despite turning the ball over 21 times. That number is very high, yes, but it’s almost to be expected with “Press” Virginia’s swarming press defense that’s one of the best in the country.
TCU responded with great defense of their own, holding West Virginia to just 37% shooting from the floor, and 21% from deep.
It’s going to take a minute for Frog fans to recover from this one, as it now seems like TCU is destined for the NIT. TCU would have to win both of their two games left, against Kansas State at the Scholly, and a trip up to Norman against Oklahoma, to have a shot at making the tournament. Not to mention, they would probably need a win or two in the Big 12 Conference tournament to pad their resume, which is lacking a signature win.
Of course, if we had been told back in August that we were all but guaranteed an NIT berth, what would you have said in response?