The 2023-24 will be a unique season with the Big 12 welcoming four new members and not yet bidding adieu to its two departing members. While the league traditionally had played a double round-robin schedule, getting each opponent on the road and at home, there will be a new set up special to this season. On Thursday the Big 12 announced the conference scheduling and opponent pairings for the upcoming season, with five home-and-homes, four home-only, and four away-only opponents to make up the 18-game league schedule. Opponents were selected based on a combination of geography, historical results and a poll of the coaches to best balance the schedule in terms of travel and competitiveness, per the Big 12. So how did the schedule pairing shake out for the Horned Frogs?
For TCU Men’s Basketball, there will be some disappointments in how the schedule fell, but certainly plenty of exciting contests coming to Schollmaier Arena. According to the Bart Torvik T-Rank projections for next season, the Frogs are projected 3rd in the league and the entire 14-team league is top-100 caliber, so regardless of schedule or location, every program will face a grueling conference slate in college basketball’s toughest league.
Baylor: The hoops Revivalry continues after the Bears and Frogs played a pair of thrillers in 2023, each winning in the other’s building. Baylor lost some talent to the NBA and to the transfer portal, but should be a Top 25 team all season and contending in the top half of the conference.
Cincinnati: TCU has never defeated Cinci in five previous contests, including a few as conference mates in the C-USA. It’s been 20 years since the Frogs took on the Bearcats in the Queen City.
Iowa State: The Cyclones swept TCU last season thanks to a last second jumper from Gabe Kalscheur in Fort Worth. Ames’ Hilton Coliseum is one of the toughest venues in America and the Frogs can expect a battle with ISU in these two contests
Texas Tech: Bringing in Grant McCasland from North Texas following the dismissal of Mark Adams after a 5-13 Big 12 record in 2022-23, the Red Raiders are looking to return to the mountaintop. The Frogs swept TTU last season, including a one-point win in Lubbock thanks to JaKobe Coles’ game-winning free throws.
West Virginia: TCU’s Frog Army has had two years to prepare and it will officially get the chance to welcome Kerr Kriisa to Schollmaier Arena. The former Arizona Wildcat wrestling heel has transferred to WVU and held that commitment through the offseason turmoil in Morgantown. The Mountaineers snuck into the NCAA Tournament, falling in the first round and brought in one the the top transfer classes in the nation. Former Head Coach Bob Huggins followed that with a horrendous offseason in which he used homophobic slurs and anti-Catholic language on live radio and a month later was arrested for DUI with a 0.21% BAC and was dismissed (or resigned or didn’t resign or wasn’t aware that he had resigned). In any case, playing at WVU is always a challenge and much of that superb transfer class remains to present a strong team in 2023-24 regardless of coaching status.
Houston: Kelvin Sampson has built a powerhouse in H-Town and the Cougars should be one of the favorites to emerge atop the conference in its first Big 12 season. Coming off a 1-seed season and Sweet Sixteen run, returns AAC Defensive Player of the Year guard Jamal Shead and adds Baylor transfer LJ Cryer. The Frogs & Cougars have a long history from their time together in the SWC, with UH holding a 48-25 all-time advantage, but TCU shows a slight advantage at home with an 18-16 record vs. Houston in Fort Worth.
Oklahoma: The Sooners fell to the bottom of the Big 12 last season, including a season sweep at the hands of the Horned Frogs and are projected for another disappointing run in its final campaign in the conference. Having lost top contributors Grant Sherfield, Jalen Hill, Jacob Groves, and Tanner Groves, OU will lean on Big 12 All-Freshman guard Milos Uzan and four-star true freshman forward Kaden Cooper to right the ship in Porter Moser’s third season in Norman.
Texas: The Longhorns went on a surprise postseason run to win the Big 12 Tournament and reach the Elite Eight to earn interim coach Rodney Terry the full-time job replacing the dismissed Chris Beard. Terry was able to retain big talent like Tyrese Hunter, Dillon Mitchell, and Dylan Disu while bringing in a top-ten transfer class including elite scorer Max Abmas. Now with massive expectations on his shoulders, Coach Terry is set for success in the ‘Horns’ final Big 12 season.
UCF: The Knights are the projected bottom dwellers of the conference by a significant margin, making this home game a must-win for the Frogs. TCU has only played the Citronauts once previously, in the NIT Semifinal at Madison Square Garden, a Horned Frog victory on the way to lifting the NIT trophy. UCF gets a big boost from a transfer class that includes Wichita State guard Jaykwon Walton, San Jose state 7-foot center Ibrahima Diallo, and Ball State guard Jaylin Sellers.
BYU: The Cougars have not reached the heights of the Mountain West glory days with Jimmer Fredette, a time when TCU Basketball was at its lowest; the Frogs have lost 14 straight to BYU with the last win coming in Provo in 1997. BYU returns leading scorer and All-WCC second team forward Fousseyni Traore to lead the Cougs into its new conference home.
Kansas: While Allen Fieldhouse and the mental fog it gives referees is perhaps college basketball’s toughest venue, TCU earned on of its best ever wins by taking down the Jayhawks in Lawrence last season. Frog fans will be disappointed to not see KU in Schollmaier as Bill Self’s squad should again be a top contender for the National Championship and another Big 12 Title.
Kansas State: TCU will not host either Sunflower State foe, making the road trip to Manhattan as well. Last season the Frogs were on the wrong side of a lopsided final score in Bramlage, despite being within striking distance much of the game with Mike Miles Jr. missing the game due to injury; TCU took the other two contests vs. KSU with runaway double-digit margins. The Wildcats had an outstanding season in its first season with Jerome Tang at the helm, reaching the Elite Eight, but will need to reload as stars Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson departed to the NBA.
Oklahoma State: Even in an especially strong season for TCU and a down season for the Cowboys, the Frogs were consumed by Gallagher-Iba, dropping the contest in Stillwater 73-79. OSU may have another tough go in 2023-24, losing a boatload of talent to the transfer portal including super frontcourt duo of Mousa Cisse (Ole Miss) and Kalib Boone (UNLV), along with guard Avery Anderson III who will make his return trip to OK State as a member of the Horned Frogs.
The complete schedule and dates for these Big 12 contests and the non-conference slate will be released at a later date.