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March to Madness: 2022 NCAA Tournament Bracket Watch, March 7

TCU was unable to improve its seeding in Morgantown. The bracket outlook is solidifying ahead of conference tournaments

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NCAA Basketball: Texas Christian at West Virginia
Mike Miles and TCU were unable to get past the Mountaineers in Morgantown
Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Frog Status

  • NET Rank: 46 (↓2)
  • RPI: 56 (↓4)
  • KenPom Rank: 42 (↓6)
  • ESPN BPI: 45 (↓1)

Bracketologists View of TCU:

NET performance for the loss at West Virginia

Well so much for “leave no doubt.” The physical and mental toll of the last week seemed to catch up with the Frogs on Saturday – giving away 18 turnovers, committing 21 fouls, and losing the rebound battle. The loss will look bad on the metrics and the various team sheets, but TCU entered the game as an underdog, indicating an understanding that playing in Morgantown was never going to be a walk in the park, regardless of the season WVU has had to date. Most prognosticators still safely have TCU in the field, and losing to #17 Texas on a neutral court to open the Big 12 Tournament shouldn’t do any additional harm to the overall resume for the Frogs; finishing 5th in the nation’s best conference with a high level non-conference win vs. LSU should be more than enough. It would have been nice to close the regular season on a higher note thoughm and put to rest the tiny percentage point chance that the Committee finds a way to ignore TCU.

Seed Watch

Even if we assume TCU is safely in the field of 68, the loss at WVU has now opened the door to a potential placement into the First Four play-in games in Dayton. A win over Texas would end that chatter, but a loss paired with big performances from teams hovering near the Bubble could push some beyond where the Frogs sit today. Given the loss in Morgantown, the focus will be avoiding the play-in First Four games. While not likely TCU for to climb to a 6-seed, we’ll keep tracking those teams as the fight for seeding continues.

Snapshot of the teams projected for seeds 6-12 and the Bubble.

Good News

  • No Bid Thieves – The first week of conference tournaments had plenty of excitement, but the teams that had already locked up a spot or were floating near the Bubble won out to avoid multiple bids from those one-bid leagues. Congrats to OVC Champion Murray State & MVC Champion Loyola Chicago, and a big thanks from all Bubble contenders for preventing any unexpected spots being taken.
  • #44 Indiana Loss – The Hoosiers put a big scare into rival Purdue in West Lafayette, but ultimately could not pull off the monumental win. The Boilermakers are certainly well ahead of TCU, but Indiana now is still deep in the Bubble race and will remain behind the Frogs in seeding standing.
  • #66 Creighton Loss – The Bluejay see-saw continues, following up a big win with a tough loss. This one wasn’t all good for TCU, as Seton Hall picking up the road win likely pushes the Pirates out of reach in a seeding battle. However, Creighton is one of the primary targets for the play-in, so keeping their profile low will help ensure TCU doesn’t fall into those spots.
  • #47 Davidson Loss – The Fighting Steph Currys are likely into the field already, but this loss to Bubble contender #52 Dayton has put that position in doubt, dropping Davidson down a seed-line in the projection from a 9 to a 10. Still the 1-seed in the A-10 Tournament, the Wildcats likely need to reach the conference title game to safely avoid the First Four.

Bad News

  • #35 Memphis win – Coach Penny and the Tigers completed the season sweep of top AAC squad Houston in dominating fashion at FedEx Forum. Memphis does have two especially bad Q3 losses (against Georgia and East Carolina) and got swept itself by fellow AAC Bubble contender SMU. This win likely puts the Tigers into the field with the opportunity to jump seed lines with a long run in the conference tourney.
  • #31 Michigan Win – The Wolverines have been riding near the First Four fence for a while but has performed admirably while coach Juwan Howard serves his suspension for slapping a Wisconsin assistant coach. Closing the season with the road win at rival #22 Ohio State is a huge boost to Michigan’s tournament chances and possibly out of the Dayton play-in games with a win over Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament opener.
  • #48 Wyoming Win – The Cowboys were taken to overtime by #69 Fresno State to close the regular season, but came away with the win. If Wyoming had fallen, it would’ve likely locked their seed behind TCU, even with a solid run through a challenging Mountain West. However, picking up the win keeps Wyoming in mix to leap the Frogs by Selection Sunday.
  • #33 North Carolina Win – As much fun as it was to see the Tar Heels ruin the day for Coach K on his final game at Cameron Indoor, this was not a great result for the Frogs. UNC is now likely well off the Bubble, and jumped two full seed lines (from an 11 to a 9) at Bracket Matrix. A loss in the ACC Quarterfinals on Thursday against Virginia, Louisville, or GA Tech could send UNC back into play-in discussion

Conference Tournaments

Tournament Week is here and there will be so much action to take in. There are only a few true bid-stealing opportunities left (look out for Santa Clara vs. Saint Mary’s in the WCC semifinal tonight), but there are always surprises like Oregon State and Georgetown last season. Let the madness begin!

The conference snapshot headed into Champions Week

Look Ahead: What to (Bracket) Watch

Conference Tournament week can be as exciting as the NCAA Tournament itself, so you should be watching all of it. These are the already confirmed games that will impact TCU’s seeding and the Bubble race.

  • #1 Gonzaga vs. #24 San Francisco – Mon. Mar. 7, 8:00 PM ESPN
  • #19 St. Mary’s vs. #67 Santa Clara– Mon. Mar. 7, 10:30 PM ESPN
  • #86 Clemson vs. #146 NC StateTue. Mar. 8, 3:30 PM ESPN
  • #94 Syracuse vs. #99 Florida StateWed. Mar. 9, 11:00 AM ESPN
  • #129 Butler vs. #36 Xavier– Wed. Mar. 9, 3:30 PM FS1
  • #32 Seton Hall vs. #198 Georgetown– Wed. Mar. 9, 8:30 PM FS1
  • #54 Florida vs. #56 Texas A&MThurs. Mar. 10, 11:00 AM SEC Network
  • #44 Indiana vs. #31 Michigan– Thurs. Mar. 10, 11:30 AM B1G Network
  • #38 Marquette vs. #66 Creighton – Thurs. Mar. 10, 1:30 PM FS1
  • #40 Michigan St. vs. #89 Maryland– Thurs. Mar. 10, 5:30 PM B1G Network
  • #42 Oklahoma vs. #3 Baylor – Thurs. Mar. 10, 6:00 PM ESPN
  • #41 Iowa State vs. #12 Texas TechThurs. Mar. 10, 8:30 PM ESPN2