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Survive and Advance: TCU Knocks Off #1 Team in the Nation

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Some clutch free throws from freshman Desmond Bane sealed the deal as the Frogs beat the top team in the country for the 1st time in school history.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Championship-Kansas vs TCU Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The TCU Horned Frogs have sent shockwaves through the nation by taking down Big 12 Tournament #1 seed Kansas. It was an incredible game for the Frogs and is the 1st time in school history that TCU has beaten the #1 team in the country.

Kansas came out strong and was making TCU defend the whole floor by knocking down threes and working it in down low. The Jayhawks took a 39-27 lead when Frank Mason made a pair of technical free throws. Jamie Dixon had been assessed the technical for reacting to a missed traveling call on Landen Lucas. However, that play seemed to fire up the Frogs, who went on to close the 1st half on a 16-3 run and it was TCU that took a 43-42 lead into the half.

Kenrich Williams led the way for the Frogs in the 1st half, finishing with 9 points. Vladimir Brodziansky, Jaylen Fisher, and Alex Robinson each contributed 7 points and Robinson was a great facilitator, finishing the half with 6 assists. Brandon Parrish provided the spark for the closing run with a quick 5 points off of the bench, and by checking in, he set the school record for most career games played.

As a team, the Frogs had a +9 advantage on the glass in the 1st half, taking advantage of the Jayhawks’ lack of depth down low. For the Jayhawks, it was Mason and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk leading the charge in the first 20 minutes. Each of them dropped in 13 points in the half and Mason was doing most of his damage at the free throw line, where he went 9/10.

Out of the break, TCU seemed to really want it more and was able to extend their lead to 60-49, but Kansas was able to work their way back into the game and was only down 65-59 with 11:47 to go in the game. A quick 5-0 run out of a timeout pulled the Jayhawks within 1 and got the crowd of predominantly Kansas fans back into the game. They eventually would come all the way back and take a 1-point lead, but it was the Frogs up 76-75 at the final media timeout.

Both teams would continue to battle and the game entered the final minute tied at 80. Lucas missed a shot in the paint, giving TCU the ball back with about 45 seconds to play. Out of a timeout, Robinson attacked off the dribble and finished at the rim with the right hand over Mason. On the other end of the floor, Mason was fouled and knocked down a pair of free throws to tie it at 82. Freshman Desmond Bane then got fouled on a three with 2.5 seconds left and knocked down all of them to win the game 85-82 for the Frogs.

It was a team effort for TCU as 5 players scored in double-digits. The Frogs shot 49.2% from the field and were able to knock down their free throws down the stretch, making 77.3% at the line for the game. They also outrebounded Kansas 36-31.

Kenrich Williams fueled the Frogs’ effort with his incessant hustle. He led the team with 18 points and also grabbed 8 rebounds and had 5 assists and 4 steals before fouling out. However, Desmond Bane might have been the star of the game thanks to his effort off of the bench and his clutch free throws. The freshman will be remembered in TCU history for those free throws, but he also had 16 points on 5/6 shooting.

As a team, Kansas was led by Mason. He finished with 29 points and was 12/13 at the line. Mykhailiuk was 2nd on the team with 18 points and Lucas finished with a double-double, dropping in 13 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Despite the loss, Kansas should still be a #1 seed when the bracket is announced on Sunday.

Next, the Frogs will advance to the Big 12 Tournament Semifinals for the 1st time in school history and will face Iowa State, who they already beat once this season, tomorrow night at 6 pm.