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  • Eric Martinez

TCU defeats Arizona State 72-70, advancing to second round of NCAA Tournament

A team that trusts each other late in games will always be a contender and has a chance to make an undeniable impact in the tournament. Texas Christian University has shown trust on the floor the entire year. When shots are not falling, the Horned Frogs lock in defensively and ultimately have a “team-first” mindset. Early in Friday night’s game against Arizona State, rebounding was noticeable, and the number 6 seed TCU jumped out to an early lead. The arena in Denver seemed to exude energy on both ends of the floor as Arizona State had the lead at halftime 44 to 37 led by sophomore guard, Frankie Collins, and senior guard Desmond Cambridge Jr.

The stage was set for TCU to come out of halftime with trusting their teammates and what has worked all year long. Horned Frogs took an 11-point lead early in the second half. Junior guard Mike Miles Jr., emphatically slam-dunked for a highlight reel that sparked a charge in the TCU lineup. Miles seemed to tweak his leg when landing but returned to the game later to make a huge impact. One of the major takeaways from this victory for TCU will be the trust that Mike Miles Jr. had in his teammate, JaKobe Coles. Coles has been patiently waiting to play big-game minutes and Friday night he came up with the game-winning floater giving TCU the 72-70 victory with only 1.5 seconds left. Miles Jr. was ecstatic for his teammate, “He didn’t have the role he wanted, but this year he’s getting the minutes he wanted. He’s stepping up. In the biggest game of his life, he made the game-winning shot.”

Coach Jamie Dixon credits the victory to low turnover margin (only 5 turnovers) and making free-throws count, shooting 74.1% from the charity stripe. Rebounding was one of Dixon’s keys to victory, and the Horned Frogs out-rebounded Arizona State 38 to 34. TCU advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and will now face 3 seed Gonzaga on Sunday evening. An entertaining game, and for TCU alumni and fans, this TCU team does not back down from a challenge showing ultimate character throughout the season.

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