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March to Madness: 2024 NCAA Tournament Bracketology, February 2

The Horned Frogs have banked some major wins, but will need more to lock up a bid and climb the seed list

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 30 Texas Tech at TCU Photo by Chris Leduc/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Horned Frogs Status

Bracketologists View of TCU:

  • Lunardi: 8-seed vs. #37 Mississippi State in Charlotte, NC
  • Palm: 6-seed vs. #19 New Mexico or #52 Oregon in Brooklyn, NY
  • Haslam: 5-seed
  • Torvik: 97.4% in Tournament; 6.2-seed
  • INCCSTATS: 94.9% in Tournament; 5-seed; 5.7% in Final Four

NET impact for the wins over Baylor & Texas Tech

Welcome to February! This will be my seventh season covering Bracketology and the Bubble Watch here at Frogs O’ War. There have been Selection Sundays that have been heartbreaking and those that have been jubilant. TCU Basketball has reached successes that once seemed impossible. Jamie Dixon has turned the page as Head Coach and now the ceiling has been raised drastically, and the expectations along with it. The Horned Frogs have now reached the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Round of 32 in two consecutive seasons. Doing so for a third time would be unprecedented for the program and presented a major challenge headed into the season, as TCU would be replacing Mike Miles Jr and Damion Baugh, but Dixon brought in a major haul of transfers to take on the challenge. The next challenge will be to break that glass ceiling and advance to a Sweet 16 or beyond. Will 2024 be the year that the Horned Frogs take that next step? Through three months of the season, TCU has banked some major wins and is currently safely above the Bubble cut-line, however the Frogs are nowhere near a lock. With ten regular season games remaining, TCU is in the middle-ground where it could make waves and push for a top-four seed (the key to a deep March run, as noted in last season’s intro) or could fall into a losing streak and back on the Bubble. The Frogs can continue to take care of business, but will also need other contending teams to falter in order for TCU to climb the seeding list. Let’s dig in to our weekly look at the Bracketology outlook and the teams battling for bids and seeding over the next six weeks:

Note: All rankings are NET unless otherwise noted


Impact Game of the Week:

  • #57 Northwestern Wildcats (↑12) def #70 Ohio State Buckeyes (↓7)- The Wildcats nearly pulled off a stunning win over Purdue for the second time this season on Wednesday, ultimately falling in overtime. Boo Buie and friends really got a boost this week with the dominant 25-point beat-down of Ohio State. The Buckeyes have fallen four games below .500 in B1G play and have fully dropped off of the Bubble radar, now needing a miraculous run to re-enter the conversation. Northwestern now finds itself on the right side of the Bubble and with a very manageable February ahead, the Wildcats could continue climbing for awhile.

Climbing:

  • #44 Boise State Broncos (↑12) - The Mountain West could become a six bid conference this season and Boise has now positioned itself near the top of that list with a supremely impressive victory over AP #19 New Mexico. There are still some land mines that could send the resume into the dumpster, starting Saturday at home vs. #228 Air Force, but with 4 more Q1 opportunities remaining, the Broncos still have room to grow.
  • #27 Oklahoma Sooners (↑7) - One thing the NET loves is winning big on the road and OU went into Manhattan’s Bramlage Coliseum and left with a 20-point demolition of #83 Kansas State. A result that has bumped EMAW below the Bubble cut line and put the Sooners in real pursuit of a six-seed or better. OU needs to keep it rolling on the road, needing a win at #75 UCF on Saturday to remain in the AP Top 25.

Falling:

  • #51 Villanova Wildcats (↓11) - Nova continues an absolute freefall. Ranked in the NET Top 30 entering January, the Wildcats have won just won game over the last month and that was over an atrocious #312 DePaul team. Losers six of its last seven games out, Villanova is on the outside looking in and will need a major run to even be near the conversation in March. They avoid the Big East big dogs until the season finale hosting #15 Creighton, so a winning streak may be on order, beginning with a must-win game vs. Providence this weekend.
  • #42 SMU Mustangs (↓7) - The Ponies were able to prevent this downward spiral from looking even worse by ending its losing streak with a win over Tulane on Thursday, but dropping road games at UNT and Wichita State has put SMU’s at-large resume into very rough waters. The Mustangs have zero Quad 1 wins, are just 1-4 in Quad 2 and now have a nasty Quad 3 loss on the ledger. SMU very well may need to win out to earn an NCAA Tournament bid as any loss other than the road trip to FAU would be an ugly stain on the resume.

Look Ahead:

This weekend promises to be one of the best regular season weeks of college basketball in recent memory, with four AP Top Ten matchups and contests with massive implications the entire weekend, starting Friday evening, going for the entire day and night on Saturday, and running through Sunday night. Being the weekend before the Super Bowl, it’s the perfect time to lock in to some terrific college hoops action

  • #18 Dayton Flyers at #71 St. Bonaventure Bonnies - Fri. Feb. 2, 6:00 PM, ESPN2
  • #43 Princeton Tigers at #91 Yale Bulldogs - Fri. Feb. 2, 6:00 PM, ESPNU
  • #56 Butler Bulldogs at #15 Creighton Bluejays - Fri. Feb. 2, 8:00 PM, FS1
  • #4 UConn Huskies at #38 St. John’s Red Storm - Sat. Feb 3, 11:00 AM, FOX
  • #49 Virginia Tech Hokies at #67 Miami Hurricanes - Sat. Feb 3, 11:00 AM, ESPN
  • #45 Virginia Cavaliers at #33 Clemson Tigers - Sat. Feb 3, 1:00 PM, ESPN
  • #39 Texas Longhorns at #30 TCU Horned Frogs - Sat. Feb 3, 1:00 PM, ESPN2
  • #20 Utah State Aggies at #23 San Diego State Aztecs - Sat. Feb 3, 2:30 PM FOX
  • #1 Houston Cougars at #13 Kansas Jayhawks - Sat. Feb 3, 3:00 PM, ESPN
  • #27 Oklahoma Sooners at #75 UCF Knights - Sat. Feb 3, 3:00 PM, ESPN+
  • #36 Florida Gators at #46 Texas A&M - Sat. Feb 3, 3:00 PM, ESPN2
  • #31 Colorado Buffaloes at #34 Utah Utes - Sat. Feb 3, 4:00 PM Pac 12 Net
  • #35 Cincinnati Bearcats at #28 Texas Tech Red Raiders - Sat. Feb 3, 5:00 PM, ESPN+
  • #8 Auburn Tigers at #58 Ole Miss - Sat. Feb 3, 5:00 PM SEC Net
  • #17 Duke Blue Devils at #9 North Carolina - Sat. Feb 3, 5:30 PM, ESPN
  • #10 Iowa State Cyclones at #16 Baylor Bears - Sat. Feb 3, 7:00 PM ESPN2
  • #5 Tennessee Volunteers at #25 Kentucky Wildcats - Sat. Feb 3, 7:30 PM, ESPN
  • #37 Mississippi State Bulldogs at #7 Alabama Crimson Tide - Sat. Feb 3, 7:30 PM, SEC Net
  • #21 St. Mary’s Gaels at #26 Gonzaga Bulldogs - Sat. Feb 3, 9:30 PM ESPN
  • #2 Purdue Boilermakers at #11 Wisconsin Badgers - Sun. Feb. 4, Noon, CBS
  • #54 Providence Friars at #51 Villanova Wildcats - Sun. Feb. 4, 5:00 PM, FS1
  • #55 Nebraska Cornhuskers at #12 Illinois Illini - Sun. Feb. 4, 5:30 PM B1G Net
The NET Top 32 results of the week and lookahead tp the weekend