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March to Madness: 2024 NCAA Tournament Bracketology, February 9

TCU’s home loss to Texas drops the Frogs down the seeding list

Texas v TCU Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Horned Frogs Status

Bracketologists View of TCU:

  • Lunardi: 9-seed vs. #17 Saint Mary’s in Indianapolis, IN
  • Palm: 9-seed vs. #17 Saint Mary’s in Memphis, TN
  • Haslam: 7-seed
  • Torvik: 90.1% in Tournament; 7-seed
  • INCCSTATS: 85.6% in Tournament; 5-seed; 3.2% in Final Four

NET Impact for the home loss to the Longhorns

It’s been a long week off for the Horned Frogs to ruminate on what qualifies as its worst resume loss of the season, last Saturday’s ugly home defeat at the hands of the Texas Longhorns. It was TCU’s worst performance on the defensive glass this season, as UT collected 14 offensive rebounds on 28 missed shots for the game. TCU is now responsible for two of the three worst opponent offensive rebound rates allowed of all Big 12 conference games this season, per barttorvik.com data, with the Frogs’ loss at Kansas falling at 48.5% of missed shots. TCU defensively has also allowed 50% shooting from three-point range in consecutive games, when combined with the rebounding woes, these two trends are concerning and life does not get any easier with a trip to Hilton Coliseum and an Iowa State squad that forced 27 TCU turnovers in Fort Worth last month in a one-point Cyclone win. Ultimately, this one loss did little overall damage to TCU’s NCAA Tournament case, but it does currently rank as the only Quadrant 2 loss. The Frogs are likely to linger in 7-10 seed range for a bit - not yet in danger of falling into Bubble danger, but not yet making a jump towards a protected top-4 seed, but a win in Ames would be massive for the resume.


Impact Games of the Week:

Note: All rankings are NET unless otherwise noted

  • #34 Virginia Cavaliers 60 - #70 Miami Hurricanes 38
    That is not a typo, Miami scored 38 points in a 40 minute basketball game. A battle of fringe bubble teams was dominated by UVA to push the Cavaliers safely above the cut line while the Hurricanes now may have fallen so far that it will follow up its 2023 Final Four with a trip to the 2024 NIT. With four Q1 opportunities remaining, including two vs. likely 1-seed North Carolina, Miami could still make a run. UVA is now on a six-game win streak headed into Saturday’s road trip to Florida State, looking to move safely out of First Four territory.
  • #48 Nevada Wolf Pack 77 - #30 Utah State Aggies 63
    A big mover for the TCU resume as Nevada moving into the Top 50 pushes the Frogs’ neutral site loss to the Wolf Pack into Q1, while also damaging a key seeding competitor in Utah State. Nevada is now moving into a position where it has to be included in the Bubble conversation, even if likely outside looking in today. The win over the Aggies is the first of three consecutive opponents ranked in the AP Top 25 and getting this road win is huge ahead of hosting AP #24 San Diego State on Friday and AP #25 New Mexico on Tuesday in Reno. Utah State is still comfortably in the field, but its case for a top-4 seed took a big hit with this home loss, but with key MWC matchups ahead this month vs. Boise State, Colorado State, and San Diego State, the Aggies will still have a chance to climb back

Climbing:

  • #33 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (↑17)
    While some in Winston-Salem may already be looking ahead to baseball season and the consensus #1 Deacs of the diamond, but there is plenty to look forward to on the hardcourt as well. Wake has a starting lineup featuring four prolific scoring threats, as Cameron Hildreth, Hunter Sallis, Kevin Miller, and Andrew Carr each average over 14 points per game and have devoured ACC competition. This past week, WF put up a pair of dominant wins, blowing out Syracuse and Georgia Tech; although those may not be Tourney-caliber foes, the NET loves the highly efficient performances, pushing the Demon Deacons above the Bubble cut line. Wake has a must-win home game vs. NC State on Saturday ahead of a marquee Big Monday showdown vs. Duke at Cameron Indoor.
  • #51 Butler Bulldogs (↑5)
    Butler had about as difficult a two-game road trip as you can get, traveling to Omaha for the #19 Bluejays and then going to Storrs for #4 Huskies. Anything other than an 0-2 week would’ve been astounding, but the Bulldogs were able to pull out a one-point win over Creighton to extend its winning streak to four games before falling to AP #1 UConn on Tuesday. Aside from a March game at DePaul, every game the rest of the way is a coin flip or tougher; if it can string together another win streak and move above .500 in Big East play, Butler should do enough to earn an at-large bid.

Falling:

  • #36 Texas Tech Red Raiders (↓8)
    Grant McCasland’s squad followed up a pair of major wins over BYU & OU with a three game losing streak, including this week’s home loss to Cinci and road defeat at Baylor. The Red Raiders have looked good in these games and each has been a competitive affair, but life in the Big 12 can be brutal with the line between pain and elation so thin in this league. TTU remains just 1.5 games out of first place in the Big 12 with perhaps its “easiest” remaining game coming in Lubbock this weekend vs. #65 UCF Knights, a near must-win game ahead of a brutal stretch with Kansas and at Iowa State to follow. Tech is certainly safely in the field today, but an accumulation of losses could put that status in jeopardy, as a loss Saturday could very well turn a three-game skid into a six-game losing streak or worse.
  • #52 Princeton Tigers (↓9)
    It was always likely the case that Princeton would have to earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning the Ivy League Tournament, but that is now certainly the only path to the Big Dance for the Tigers after losing at Yale last weekend, picking up a 2nd Ivy loss and falling two games back of both Yale & Cornell in the league standings. The loss dropped the Tigers out of the NET top 50 and with zero Quad 1 or Quad 2 games remaining, there is no opportunity to make a meaningful leap forward on the resume. As dangerous as the Tigers can be in March, it’ll take cutting down the nets at the Ivy Tourney to get a chance at another Cinderella run after a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2023.

Look Ahead:

Bubble Battles:

  • #56 Providence Friars at #51 Butler Bulldogs - Sat. Feb. 10, 1:00 PM FS1
  • #66 UCF Knights at #37 Texas Tech Red Raiders - Sat. Feb. 10, 3:00 PM, ESPN+
  • #41 Washington State Cougars at #58 Oregon Ducks - Sat. Feb. 10,4:00 PM, Pac 12
  • #40 Boise State Broncos at #30 Utah State Aggies - Sat. Feb. 10, 9:00 PM FS1
  • #67 Seton Hall Pirates at #47 Villanova Wildcats - Sun. Feb. 11, 11:00 AM CBS Sports Net
  • #78 North Texas Mean Green at #45 SMU Mustangs - Sun. Feb. 11, 1:00 PM, ESPNU

Seeding Battles:

Bubble vs. Likely Locks:

Bubble vs. Spoilers:

  • #217 San Jose State Spartans at #27 Colorado State Rams - Fri. Feb. 9, 8:30 PM, FS1
  • #29 Clemson Tigers at #87 Syracuse Orange - Sat. Feb. 10, 11:00 AM ESPN2
  • #238 Vanderbilt Commodores at #43 South Carolina Gamecocks - Sat. Feb. 10, Noon, SEC Network
  • #228 La Salle Explorers at #74 Richmond Spiders - Sat. Feb. 10, 1:00 PM, ESPN+
  • #143 West Virginia Mountaineers at #38 Texas Longhorns - Sat. Feb. 10, 2:00 PM, Longhorn Network
  • #80 NC State Wolfpack at #33 Wake Forest Demon Deacons - Sat. Feb. 10, 3:00 PM, ACC Network
  • #209 Penn Quakers at #52 Princeton Tigers - Sat. Feb. 10, 5:00 PM, CBS Sports Net
  • #103 Michigan Wolverines at #57 Nebraska Cornhuskers - Sat. Feb. 10, 5:30 PM, Big Ten Network
  • #138 Oklahoma State Cowboys at #26 Oklahoma Sooners - Sat. Feb. 10, 6:00 PM, ESPN+
  • #38 Virginia Cavaliers at #93 Florida State Seminoles - Sat. Feb. 10, 6:45 PM, CW
  • #18 New Mexico Lobos at #97 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels - Sat. Feb. 10, 7:00 PM CBS Sports Net
  • #136 Arizona State Sun Devils at #36 Utah Utes - Sat. Feb. 10, 7:00 PM, ESPN2
  • #44 Mississippi State Bulldogs at #145 Missouri Tigers - Sat. Feb. 10, 7:30 PM, SEC Network
  • #17 Saint Mary’s Gaels at #302 Portland Pilots - Sat. Feb. 10, 7:30 PM, ESPN+
  • #28 FAU Owls at #150 Wichita State Shockers - Sun. Feb. 11, 11:00 AM, ESPN2
  • #95 Penn State Nittany Lions at #55 Northwestern Wildcats - Sun. Feb. 11, Noon, Big Ten Network
  • #118 Tulane Green Wave at #77 Memphis Tigers - Sun. Feb. 11, 1:00 PM, ESPN2
The NET Top 50 results of the week and lookahead to the weekend