In Jamie Dixon’s first season at the helm of his alma mater, he has guided TCU to their first NIT appearance since 2005 and first postseason tournament since joining the Big 12. The Frogs are 19-15 overall and advanced to the Semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City this past weekend by knocking off Kansas, who is a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
TCU will be back in action as a #4 seed against #5 seed Fresno State on Wednesday and will be at Schollmaier Arena. The Bulldogs enter the NIT at 20-12 overall and were 11-7 in Mountain West play, which was good enough for a 4th-place finish. They are ranked #76 in the RPI according to ESPN and they swept the Mountain West champion Nevada during the regular season.
For a team that will most likely be returning its top 6 scorers next season, the NIT could be a great stepping stone to an NCAA Tournament run next March. This young TCU team will now get extra practice time and postseason experience. It also will allow a group of seniors that has been through a lot in their four years to continue their careers and earn some postseason victories. Lastly, making the NIT is evidence that the program is trending in the right direction under the new coaching staff and will help in recruiting.
For the purposes of the NIT’s Final Four, the Syracuse quadrant will be paired with the California quadrant and the Illinois State quadrant will be paired with the Iowa quadrant. Here is the full 32-team field for the NIT (all times CDT):
(1) Syracuse vs. (8) UNC Greensboro, Tuesday at 6:00 pm on ESPN
(4) Monmouth vs. (5) Ole Miss, Tuesday at 6:00 pm on ESPN3
(3) Indiana vs. (6) Georgia Tech, Tuesday at 8:00pm on ESPN
(2) Georgia vs. (7) Belmont, Wednesday at 6:00 pm on ESPN3
(1) California vs. (8) Cal State Bakersfield, Tuesday at 10:15 pm on ESPN2
(4) Colorado State vs. (5) Charleston, Tuesday at 8:00 pm on ESPN3
(3) BYU vs. (6) UT Arlington, Wednesday at 8:00 pm on ESPN2
(2) Houston vs. (7) Akron, Wednesday at 6:30 pm on ESPNU
Illinois State Quadrant
(1) Illinois State vs. (8) UC Irvine, Wednesday at 8:30 pm on ESPNU
(4) Central Florida vs. (5) Colorado, Wednesday at 6:00 pm on ESPN3
(3) Utah vs. (6) Boise State, Tuesday at 9:00 pm on ESPNU
(2) Illinois vs. (7) Valparaiso, Tuesday at 6:15 pm on ESPN2
(1) Iowa vs. (8) South Dakota, Wednesday at 6:00 pm on ESPN2
(4) TCU vs. (5) Fresno State, Wednesday at 7:00 pm on ESPN3
(3) Alabama vs. (6) Richmond, Tuesday at 8:15 pm on ESPN2
(2) Clemson vs. (7) Oakland, Tuesday at 7:00 pm on ESPNU
The Second Round games will be played March 16-20 and the Quarterfinals will be played March 21-22. The Semifinals and the Championship will both be at Madison Square Garden and will be played on March 28 and March 30, respectively.