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March to Madness: 2023 NCAA Tournament Bracketology, March 3

The win over Texas puts the Horned Frogs on the short list for a top tier seed

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

Frog Status

  • NET Rank: 20 (↑5)
  • KenPom Rank: 21 (↑2)
  • ESPN BPI: 23 (-)

Bracketologists View of TCU:

  • Lunardi: 5-seed vs. #56 Bradley in Orlando, FL
  • Palm: 5-seed vs. #82 Utah Valley in Orlando, FL
  • Haslam: 4-seed
  • Torvik: 100% in Tournament; 4.1-seed; 7% in Final Four
  • INCCSTATS: 99.8% in Tournament; 5-seed; 5.4% in Final Four

The NET metrics show the game against Texas as a toss up result, but earning a win over a Top 10 opponent is another massive feather in the cap of the Horned Frog resume. TCU now has away victories at projected 1-seed Kansas and at projected 2-seed Baylor, and home wins over projected 2-seeds Kansas State and Texas. At 20 wins and a winning record in the Big 12, by far college basketball’s best conference, TCU is positioned for an opportunity at its highest-ever NCAA Tournament seed.

Impact Game of the Week:

  • Xavier 94 - Providence 89: The Musketeers traveled to Rhode Island and handed the Friars its first home loss of the season, a result that ensures X will be a higher seed in the Big East Tournament and pushes it closer to locking up a Top-4 seed. Having suffered bad losses to Butler and Villanova and losing star Forward Zach Freemantle for several weeks to an injury, there was a chance that Xavier’s season could begin a spiral to a far lower seed. However taking this game on the road will keep the Xavier seed floor quite high, regardless of result against Butler Saturday. For Providence, it’s a big missed opportunity that now has the Friars clinging to a 9-seed rather than pushing for a 6-seed or better. The Friars are likely certain of a ticket to the Dance, but a home loss to Seton Hall on Saturday and an early conference tourney exit could create a nervous Selection Sunday.

Seed Growing:

  • Iowa Hawkeyes (win at Indiana): The Hawkeyes have been dominant since Fran McCaffery stared down a referee late in the game against Michigan State, going on to win that one in OT with a big comeback and now getting a signature win in Assembly Hall with a superstar performance from Kris Murray. Somehow getting blown out at home hasn’t hurt the Hoosiers in the eyes of Bracketologists, but its stranglehold on a top-4 seed should be a bit weaker. Iowa gets Nebraska at home to potentially head into the Big Ten Tournament as the #2 Seed where the Hawkeyes can earn its way out of the 8/9 slot in the NCAA Tournament.

Seed Wilting:

It was a rough week for teams in the middle of the Bracket, with bad losses to many contending teams, falling to non-Tournament teams (Nevada losing at Wyoming, Pitt losing at Notre Dame, Kentucky home loss to Vanderbilt, Rutgers loss at Minnesota, Maryland loss at Ohio State) or missing opportunities against other top squads (San Diego State losing at Boise State, NC State losing at Duke, Arkansas losing at Tennessee, Auburn losing at Alabama), but one team continues a tumble down the bracket:

  • Iowa State Cyclones (home loss to West Virginia): It has been a horrendous month in Ames. On February 4th, ISU blew out Kansas and seemed destined for a Top-4 seed, Top-10 ranking, and a deep run through March. Since then, the Cyclones have dropped six of seven (with its only win being at home over our Horned Frogs), with the capper being a home loss on Monday to take a season sweep from West Virginia. That loss dropped ISU from a projected 4-seed last week to a projected 6-seed today; with its season finale in Waco against the red-hot Baylor Bears and now without guard Caleb Grill, the tailspin could continue into March.

Seed Watch:

As noted above in the Seed Wilting section, it was a tumultuous week for the middle-seed teams surrounding the Horned Frogs. Not only did TCU get a huge boost from knocking off the Texas Longhorns on Wednesday night, but with teams dropping across the bracket TCU was able to jump a seed line from a consensus 6-seed to now being projected on the 5 line. While the leap up to the next seed line is an even greater challenge, given the teams there already, the Frogs will have an opportunity to go make that happen with a win Saturday and a run in the Big 12 Tournament. However, a loss in Norman against the struggling Sooners

Bracket Matrix consensus seeds 2-9: results from the week and match-ups this weekend

Impact Games This Weekend:

  • Alabama at Texas A&M - Sat. Mar. 4, 11 AM CBS
  • Iowa State at Baylor - Sat. Mar. 4, 11 AM ESPN2
  • Kansas State at West Virginia - Sat. Mar. 4, 1 PM ESPN+
  • Tennessee at Auburn - Sat. Mar. 4, 1 PM ESPN
  • Kentucky at Arkansas - Sat. Mar. 4, 1 PM CBS
  • Kansas at Texas - Sat. Mar. 4, 3 PM ESPN
  • Pittsburgh at Miami - Sat. Mar. 4, 5 PM ACC Net
  • Oklahoma State at Texas Tech - Sat. Mar. 4, 5 PM ESPN 2
  • Duke at North Carolina - Sat. Mar. 4, 5:30 PM ESPN
  • Boise State at Utah State - Sat. Mar. 4, 8 PM MWC Net
  • Arizona at UCLA - Sat. Mar. 4, 9 PM ESPN
  • Arizona State at USC - Sat. Mar. 4, 10 PM FS1
  • Houston at Memphis - Sun. Mar. 5, 11 AM CBS
  • Maryland at Penn State - Sun. Mar. 5, 11 AM Big Ten Net
  • Illinois at Purdue - Sun. Mar. 5, 11:30 AM FOX
  • Liberty at Kennesaw State - Sun. Mar. 5, 2 PM ESPN2
  • Michigan at Indiana - Sun. Mar. 5, 3:30 PM CBS
  • Northwestern at Rutgers - Sun. Mar. 5, 6:30 PM Big Ten Net