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Women’s Basketball: Big 12 opponent pairings announced

It’s a new era for the Lady Frogs & the Big 12

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament Quarterfinals - Oklahoma vs TCU
Tara Manumaleuga is the top returning scorer for the Horned Frogs
Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

TCU Women’s Basketball is entering a new era, as Head Coach Mark Campbell begins his tenure in Fort Worth after Raegan Pebley led the Frogs since 2014. Campbell has performed a major roster overhaul through his first offseason, bringing in high-profile transfers and a highly-touted recruiting class to replace a massive loss in production from last season: TCU’s top five scorers from 2022-23 are no longer on the roster. It is also a new era in the Big 12, as the conference welcomes four new members while retaining two outbound members for one final rodeo. The conference released its opponent pairings for the 2024 league slate on Thursday, doing away with the double round-robin to allow a matchup between every conference member at least once. This results in five home-and-home contests, plus four opponents to be away-only and four opponents to be home-only.

Note: parenthetical rankings listed are the 2022-23 final NCAA NET Rankings; TCU finished at No. 131.

Home-and-Away: BYU (109), Houston (73), Texas (12), Texas Tech (75), West Virginia (59)

Of this group, every team reached the postseason except Houston, which dropped a two-point heartbreaker in the AAC Championship Game (hosted at Fort Worth’s Dickies Arena) that would’ve sent the Cougars dancing. The Longhorns finished as the top rated Big 12 squad last season, reaching the conference championship and the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament and are primed for a big final season in the league. WVU earned a ticket to the Big Dance last season, but fell in the first round. Despite a sub-100 NET ranking, BYU earned a bid to the NIT, where it fell to Rice in round one. The Red Raiders reached the NIT Sweet Sixteen after a 6-12 Big 12 season

Home-Only: Oklahoma State (46), Kansas (30), Kansas State (58), UCF (148)

This slate of teams features the only conference foes the Horned Frogs defeated last season: KSU at home during the regular season and Kansas in the opening game of the Big 12 Tournament. The loss to TCU burst the Jayhawks’ bubble, causing them to miss the NCAA Tournament despite a 25-11 regular season record. KU would go on to win the NIT, which may give some consolation, but Kansas will be out for revenge in Schollmaier. K-State also made a deep run in the NIT, reaching the Sweet 16 despite a ninth-place finish in the Big 12. The Cowgirls are coming off an impressive season, finishing 7-2 in the conference and earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament. UCF finished at the bottom of the AAC, just ahead of fellow new member Cincinnati, and may find success in the Big 12 to be a tall task

Away-Only: Baylor (31), Cincinnati (194), Iowa State (15), Oklahoma (38)

This is a brutal road slate for the Frogs: despite getting lowest-rated program Cincinnati, the Frogs are paired with three of the conference juggernauts for big challenges in Waco, Ames, and Norman. Baylor is climbing its way back to national prominence after the departure of coach Kim Mulkey and is a program that will always put a talented group on the court. The Cyclones may not have the supernova star power of in-state rival Hawkeyes’ Caitlin Clark, but had a breakout season in 2022-23 including a Big 12 Tournament Championship. OU spent much of the season ranked in the Top 25 and finishing tied with Texas atop the conference standings, barely escaping the Frogs in the 2nd round of the Big 12 Tournament before a Second Round exit from the NCAA Tournament. As for the Bearcats, they were simply horrendous last season, finishing last in the AAC, leading to a coaching change, bringing in former star Katrina Merriweather to lead the program into the Big 12.