This is their only chance at winning multiple games in KC.
The Frogs have made more than 40% of their 3s in the last four games, including 9 of 20 (45%) in their victory over No. 2 Baylor. The 3-pointer helped TCU get out to early leads against Kansas and Oklahoma, too, although those games got away in the second half.
For Dixon, though, how well TCU has defended the 3-pionter is just as important. In the last four games, opponents have made only 22.2% (14 of 63) from deep.
The 3-point shot was the difference in TCU’s two victories over K-State earlier this season. The Frogs outscored the Wildcats by 18 points in the first meeting and by 39 points in the second meeting from 3.
Three in a row for TCU won’t be easy.
SAVVY VETERANS: Both of these teams have relied heavily on their seniors this year. Desmond Bane, Jaire Grayer and Edric Dennis Jr. have collectively scored 47 percent of TCU’s points this season and 58 percent of the team’s points over its last five games. For Kansas State, Xavier Sneed, Cartier Diarra and Makol Mawien have scored 54 percent of the team’s points this season, including 69 percent of all Wildcats points over their last five.
OFFENSIVE THREAT: Bane has either made or assisted on 57 percent of all TCU field goals over the last five games. Bane has accounted for 38 field goals and 29 assists in those games.
SLIPPING AT 69: Kansas State is 0-11 when it allows at least 69 points and 10-10 when it holds opponents to less than 69.
Must-win game tonight.
HEADING INTO THE TOURNAMENT
TCU: The Horned Frogs started the season off well, but they didn’t play a particularly strong schedule, with their three losses coming to quality teams (Clemson, USC and Xavier). Once Big 12 action hit TCU surprised many by starting 3-0, with wins over Iowa State, Kansas State and Oklahoma State. After that, the Horned Frogs fell hard, at one point losing six straight games. But the Horned Frogs managed to stay above .500 all season, though they lost their final two games of the season to Kansas and Oklahoma (preceded by a win over then-No. 2 Baylor). The Horned Frogs are trying to stay in position for an NIT berth, and a win over Kansas State would ensure they remain over .500, even if the Horned Frogs turn around and lose in the next round.
The Jets have had success with TCU receivers in the past.
Jalen Reagor, a junior receiver from TCU, is the son of former defensive lineman Montae Reagor. The TCU receiver earned second-team All-Big 12 with 43 catches for 611 yards and five touchdowns in 2019.
Reagor can be immediately used as a receiver and return specialist in the NFL. NFL analyst Lance Zierlein compares Reagor Curtis Samuel: “Reagor is a smooth athlete with blazing speed who has more playmaking talent than receiver skill and playcallers need to account for that when determining how to utilize him. He’s electric with the ball in his hands so getting it to him quickly rather than asking him to consistently make plays himself as a ball-winner could be crucial.”
Save him from the Browns...
Pros: In 28 career starts at TCU, Niang didn’t allow a sack. Considering how pass-happy the Big 12 is, that is impressive. As a junior, he was named a Big 12 second-teamer by the media, but Pro Football Focus placed Niang on its first team All-Big 12 roster and graded him as the conference’s best offensive lineman.
Niang moves with mobility and flexibility. He projects as a nice run blocker in a zone running scheme — not that he can’t work in other systems, but zone-blocking fits his skill set best. Reaching the second level and honing in on smaller defenders will be an issue for him early in his career, but his physical traits and dominant pass blocking put Niang as a rather safe selection, assuming health.