TCU (9-21) vs. Baylor (21-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 12, 9:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sprint Center (18,555) -- Kansas City, Missouri. Television: Big 12 Network, ESPN3.com. Home Record: TCU 5-10, Baylor 13-4. Away Record: TCU 3-9, Baylor 4-5. Neutral Record: TCU 1-2, Baylor 4-1. Conference Record: TCU 0-18, Baylor 9-9. Series Record: Baylor leads, 91-81.
GAME NOTES: Still seeking their first win of any kind against another member of the Big 12 this season, the TCU Horned Frogs have one last chance to make it happen tonight as they battle the Baylor Bears in the first round of the 18th annual conference tournament at the Sprint Center.
There's just no easy way to say it other than the Horned Frogs, the 10th seed for this year's event, have been truly dreadful in 2013-14. More specifically, the team has been shut out since the calendar turned, coming up empty in an astounding 18 consecutive games. Not since running off a four-game win streak against weaker competition in December has TCU celebrated.
Now in just their second season in the league, the Frogs lost their only game in this tourney a year ago.
As for the seventh-seeded Bears, they were supposed to be the team to watch in the Big 12, winning 12 of the first 13 games of the season and reaching the top-10 in the rankings, but it all spiraled out of control in January. Baylor dropped five straight league bouts and seven of eight during the stretch, leaving everyone scratching their heads.
In the middle of last month the Bears began to rebound, winning four in a row and seven of the final eight dates on the schedule.
The Bears are ahead in the all-time series between the Lone Star State foes, holding a 91-81 edge, thanks in part to a massive 91-58 thrashing just last month at Daniel Meyer Coliseum. This will be the first time the teams have battled in a conference tourney since matching up in the 1992 Southwest Conference Tournament.
The winner this time around will head to the quarterfinals on Thursday and face off against the second-seeded Oklahoma Sooners.
One of only two players to have started every game for the Horned Frogs this season, Kyan Anderson carried much of the load on offense for the program, from his 17.0 ppg to his 131 assists. Of his 510 points, more than twice the numbers of each of his teammates except for Jarvis Ray (9.1 ppg), Anderson tallied 157 at the free-throw line where he was 85.3 percent accurate. Amric Fields had been the only other double-digit scorer on the roster with his 13.1 ppg, but his season was cut short due to injury last month, so don't be surprise to see the Frogs come up short of their seasonal average of 63.5 ppg, a number that plummeted in conference to a mere 59.0 ppg as opponents outscored TCU by a margin of 17.8 ppg.
Unlike the Horned Frogs, offense has not been an issue for Baylor this season, the team generating 75,1 ppg and posting games of 88 and 91 points in the two meetings with TCU. However, it should be noted that the Bears had their stats boosted by a 104-59 thrashing of Hardin-Simmons in December as well. The one player to have started all 31 games for the program, Cory Jefferson heads a lost of four double-digit scorers heading into the postseason with his 13.4 ppg. Jefferson was also first on the unit with 8.1 rpg, helping to lift the Bears to a massive 7.4 rpg advantage against the competition. Kenny Chery checked in with 11.7 ppg and 149 assists, while Isaiah Austin (10.6 ppg) turned more than a few shooters away with his 96 blocked shots at the defensive end of the floor.
Unless they are able to catch lightning in a bottle, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the Horned Frogs will more than likely be taking an early flight back to Fort Worth after tonight's meeting.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Baylor 82, TCU 61
03/12 10:35:35 ET