Milwaukee (20-13) at T-C-U (17-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, March 13, 8:00 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Daniel-Meyer Coliseum (7,201) -- Fort Worth, Texas. Television: None. CBI Record: Milwaukee 0-0, TCU 0-0. Series Record: First- ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The fifth annual College Basketball Invitational gets off the ground tonight with one of the three first-round games involving the Milwaukee Panthers against the TCU Horned Frogs at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in Forth Worth, Texas.
The Panthers, who hail from the Horizon League, finished the season seven games over .500 and were the fourth seed in their conference tournament. The team made it through the first round back on Feb. 28 with a 68-55 romp over Illinois-Chicago, but then the squad was defeated three days later in the second round by Butler, 71-49. Milwaukee had won five straight outings prior to the setback versus the Bulldogs, putting up a league mark of 11-7 in the process.
As for the Horned Frogs, they had some big wins in the last few weeks of the regular season against the titans of the Mountain West Conference, defeating the likes of UNLV and New Mexico, but the squad dropped two straight to close out the regular season and then was immediately dismissed from the quarterfinals of the MWC Tournament by Colorado State which thrashed the Frogs, 81-60.
In terms of a relationship on the hardwood between these two schools, this is the first-ever meeting. Even though the Panthers have never tangled with TCU previously, the squad has been here in Fort Worth before and defeated both Texas State and Colgate during the Preseason NIT two seasons ago.
The winner of this meeting will be back in action on Monday versus the survivor of the Western Illinois/Oregon State clash in the quarterfinals.
Making just their sixth appearance in the postseason at the NCAA Division I level, the Panthers are taking part in the CBI for the first time. The squad has been playing rather well in recent years, reaching the 20-win plateau for the second time in the last three seasons, rather remarkable when you consider the program has seen that happen just 11 times during the 115 years of basketball at the school. One of the more balanced offenses you'll find, the Panthers have three active players scoring in double figures, led by Tony Meier with 11.0 ppg as he shoots 40.3 percent from three-point range. Kaylon Williams (10.8 ppg) hasn't been too sharp shooting the ball from the field (.367) of beyond the arc (.282), but he has tried to make up for that with 205 assists. James Haarsma checks in with 10.7 ppg and a team-best 5.5 rpg and while he is hitting a solid 52.0 percent from the floor, his 62.9 percent effort at the free-throw line is indicative of the team's overall struggles at the charity stripe (.612).
Coming on strong in the final weeks of the season for the Horned Frogs, J.R. Cadot was responsible for 11.3 ppg and led the program with 7.0 rpg and 47 steals, the latter total being six more than his assist number over the course of 31 starts. Hank Thorns (13.5 ppg) was the one who handled most of the passing chores with his 143 dishes, although he also stood as the most productive three-point shooter for the program with his 70-of-177 (.395) effort beyond the arc. However, it wasn't uncommon to find Thorns in foul trouble and add to that a mediocre shooting effort from the floor (.383) and there still a number of holes in his game. Amric Fields (9.6 ppg) and Garlon Green (9.5 ppg) always have the potential to light up he scoreboard as well for the Horned Frogs, but it is more important for the defense to be a bit more stiff at this stage.
As long as the Horned Frogs are the ones dictating the pace in this meeting and they can get the crowd behind them, expect to see the hosts make things interesting.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: TCU 67, Milwaukee 63
03/13 10:42:53 ET