- Eric Martinez
TCU looks to be a threat in the tournament
The TCU alumni and boosters entered the venue with smiles and excitement anticipating the TCU men’s basketball team being selected to back-to-back NCAA basketball tournament in consecutive years. TCU returned from the Big 12 conference tournament, that was hosted in Kansas City, after losing in the semi-final game Friday night to what turned out to be Big 12 tournament champion University of Texas Longhorns. That was in the past, the NCAA tournament selects the top 68 teams for a new season, somewhat of a clean slate. The Horned Frogs are up to the challenge of using their experience from last season when TCU displayed a tremendous amount of fight to reach the second round against the number 1 seed, Arizona Wildcats. Despite the controversial ending, TCU is learning from that experience and noticeably preparing for what is to come in the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
Before the seeds and brackets were announced, TCU wanted to recognize 6 players that all have eligibility to return to TCU for the 2023-2024 season. The players were honored for what they have contributed to the program, and more importantly, how vital these players are to the development of the current team and what they mean to the program and university. The players recognized are Damion Baugh, Emmanuel Miller, Shahada Wells, Chuck O’Bannon Jr., Xavier Cork, and Souleymane Doumbia. Head coach, Jamie Dixon, personally thanked each player for what they have contributed to the team and he reminded everyone that these players have options in terms of possibly declaring for the NBA Draft. Ultimately, TCU is proud of these players and rewarded them with a display of gratitude and appreciation.
The South Region and the Midwest Region were announced and TCU had not been selected yet. TCU Horned Frogs were selected as the number 6 seed in the West Region to play their game on Friday, March 17th in Denver, CO. The opponent is still unknown. The Horned Frogs will await the winner of the first four play-in game between Arizona St. vs. Nevada (Reno) Wolf Pack. Coach Dixon began the press conference confirming scouting for both teams has started right away. The expectation was a possible 5 seed, however he is pleased with the seeding, since the 5 vs. 12 matchup results in playing difficult opponents traditionally in the NCAA tournament.
Without overlooking either opponent, if the Horned Frogs can survive and advance from the first round, there is a potential matchup on Sunday that could face a 3 seeded Gonzaga that would bring out the best in the Horned Frogs and could be one of the best games in the second-round should both teams advance from their first round games. TCU is optimistic and as coach Dixon reminded the media, Horned Frogs are “healthy” and playing their best basketball with maximum effort shown at the right time of the year.