TCU’s win over Kansas State on Tuesday night all but locked them into an NCAA Tournament bid. The Frogs (21-9, 9-8), are currently tied for fourth in the Big 12, a league that could see as many as eight teams make the tournament, should things break the right way.
And as of Wednesday morning, TCU is projected to play close to home.
ESPN has TCU matched up in the first round with 11-seed St. Bonaventure, an unlikely pairing considering the two teams have already played this season, and in the same portion of the bracket as 3-seed Wichita State and 14-seed Northern Kentucky.
CBS has TCU paired with 11-seed UCLA, across from 3-seed Tennessee and 14-seed Bucknell.
ESPN currently projects that eight teams from the Big 12 will make the tournament, while CBS has seven teams getting in. Baylor is the odd team out in CBS’ bracket, while Kansas, West Virginia, Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma, Kansas State, and Texas all get in according to both sites.
It’s not uncommon for teams to play close to home in the first few rounds of the tournament. In 2016 Yale played just an hour and a half from home, when they defeated Baylor in Providence, Rhode Island as a 12-seed.
That same year Oklahoma, a 2-seed, played their first and second round games in Oklahoma City, just 35 minutes from their campus.
In 2015, both Kentucky and Cincinnati played their first round games in Louisville, Kentucky, about an hour and a half from both programs.
All that being said, there’s still a lot of shifting that can happen over the next few weeks. TCU still has to head to Lubbock for their final regular season matchup, and then the Big 12 tournament gets under way.
It’s a fun thing to think about though as there’s no doubt TCU fans would absolutely pack in at the American Airlines Center, and it’s not an unreasonable possibility.