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TCU Basketball at Kansas: Preview

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Can the Frogs knock off a top five opponent for the second time in five days?

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, what a magical day it was Saturday, as the Horned Frogs used a second half surge to knock off the then-no. 2 Baylor Bears in Fort Worth. But this is college basketball and this is the Big 12, so there’s not much time to celebrate.

TCU Basketball’s reward for beating #2 is a date with #1, as now Jamie Dixon’s crew has to travel to Lawrence, Kansas to play the Jayhawks, recently anointed the best team in the land. KU’s star big man, Udoka Azubuike, is questionable after spraining his ankle early in the Jayhawk’s last game, and whether or not he plays will certainly make an impact. The Frogs should get RJ Nembhard back, but this game will likely come down to Desmond Bane, and whether he can continue the torrid streak he started in the second half Saturday. It will be another tough test for the short-handed Frogs, but after Saturday, why not us?

MARCH 4 | ALLEN FIELDHOUSE (16,300) | LAWRENCE, KAN. | 7 PM

GAME INFORMATION

Broadcast: Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Play-By-Play: Mark Neely

Analyst: Lance Blanks

Online: WatchESPN.com // ESPN App

Radio: KLIF 570 AM XM 390 - (380 online)

Play-By-Play: Brian Estridge

Analyst: John Denton

Online: HFTV // TuneIn

Series: Kansas leads 19-2

In Fort Worth: KU leads 8-1

In Lawrence: KU leads 8-0

Neutral: KU leads 3-1

First Meeting: KU won 68-64 (3/21/52) in Kansas City

Last Meeting: KU won 60-46 (2/8/20) in Fort Worth

Winning Streak: KU, 5

Dixon vs. KU: 1-7

NOTES

  • Four days after defeating No. 2 Baylor, TCU (16-13, 7-9) will play at No. 1 Kansas (26-3, 15-1) Wednesday at 7 p.m. on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.It is the first time in program history that TCU will play the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in consecutive games.
  • Jamie Dixon has 412 career wins, tied for the third-most of any head coach through 17 seasons.
  • TCU leads the Big 12 in 3-pointers made per game (8.4) and blocks (4.9). The Frogs rank 20th nationally in blocks per game.
  • TCU’s three returning players from last season are senior Desmond Bane and sophomores RJ Nembhard and Kevin Samuel. Bane is the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, while freshman PJ Fuller is the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week.
  • Bane, who earned multiple preseason honors, including one of 10 finalists for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award, ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring (16.1) and leads the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage (42.6) and 3-point field goals made (2.8). He’s made a 3-pointer in 19 straight games.
  • Samuel is shooting 65.5 percent from the field and is averaging 8.6 rebounds per game, which ranks sixth in the Big 12, and 2.8 blocks per game, which leads the Big 12 and ranks 10th in the nation. Samuel’s 11 double-doubles rank second in the Big 12. He’s had at least five blocks in a game eight times this season.
  • Bane is top five all-time at TCU in career points (5th), field goals (4th) and 3-pointers (2nd). At 1,720 career points, Bane is chasing Dick O’Neal for fourth (1,723) and Carven Holcombe for third (1,734).
  • At 157 career blocked shots, Samuel is fifth on TCU’s all-time list. Kurt Thomas is next at 166 blocks. Samuel’s 80 blocks this season is the third-most in a season at TCU. Vladimir Brodziansky’s 82 during the 2016-17 season is No. 2.

LAST TIME OUT

A 54-point second half propelled TCU to a 75-72 win over No. 2 Baylor Saturday. It was the Frogs’ highest ranked home win in program history and its third win over a ranked team this season, also the most-ever by TCU. Desmond Bane scored 19 of his game-high 23 points in the second half. He finished 5-of-8 from 3-point range and added five rebounds and four assists. PJ Fuller had a career-best 21 points.

ABOUT THE OPPONENT

No. 1 Kansas is 26-3 overall and 15-1 and at the top of the Big 12 Conference standings. The preseason favorites to win the league, KU has won 14-straight games and is led by guard Devon Dotson’s 18.2 points per game, which leads the Big 12. Senior Udoka Azubuike will be playing in his final home game. He averages a double-double with 13.1 points and a Big 12-leading 10.3 rebounds per game and shoots an NCAA-leading 74.0 percent.

SERIES HISTORY

Kansas leads the all-time series 19-2, including an 8-0 record in Lawrence. TCU’s last win over Kansas was on March 9, 2017, 85-82, against the No. 1 Jayhawks in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship. KU won the meeting earlier this season in Fort Worth, 60-46.

UP NEXT

TCU hosts Oklahoma (18-8, 8-8) at 5 p.m. on Saturday on ESPN2.