Men's basketball ready for conference tournament

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Junior forward Adrick McKinney breaks through San Diego State University defenses on his way up to the basket at Saturday's game.

Junior forward Adrick McKinney breaks through San Diego State University defenses on his way up to the basket at Saturday's game.

Last year, the men’s basketball team lost 17 of their last 18 games to finish the regular season.

This year, the Frogs beat two ranked teams in the last three weeks of the season.
TCU hopes to continue winning as it heads to Las Vegas for the Mountain West Conference Championship tournament.

The team plays Colorado State on Thursday at 4:30 CST in the first round of the tournament.
The Frogs lost to the Rams 95-89 in double overtime on the road earlier this season but beat them 75-71 at home in February.

If they make it past Colorado State, TCU will take on either No. 18 San Diego State or Boise State in the semifinal round Friday.

They took the Aztecs to overtime last Saturday in Fort Worth but could not pull out a third consecutive win against a ranked opponent, losing 98-92.

The Frogs beat, then-No. 18, New Mexico by 19 points two weeks ago, and put together an eight-game winning streak at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

Sophomore forward Amric Fields said there is a huge difference between the team that lost 13 straight games at the end of the season last year and the team this season.

“This time last year we were losing ten straight games,” Fields said. “It’s unreal how it can turn around in a year as long as you just buy into the system and everybody plays hard.”

The week before they took down the Lobos, TCU managed to beat, then-No. 11, UNLV 102-97 in overtime.

Fields said the win over the Rebels gave the team a lot of confidence against the top teams in the Mountain West.

“We finally figured out that we can do it,” he said.

If the Frogs can capitalize on that confidence and win the conference tournament they could make their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1998.

Hank Thorns, senior guard, said the team is “starving” to make the NCAA tournament.

“We’re hungry,” Thorns said. “Like I said, we want to go dancing. I never went to the NCAA tournament. I’ve played in the NIT [National Invitation Tournament]. It’s not fun to me. I want to go to the NCAA tournament and finally get some shine on this school and this basketball program that we deserve.”

The Mountain West tournament has a single-elimination bracket, so the Frogs’ season will be over if they lose even one game.

If they do not win the Mountain West Conference Championship, then TCU could be invited to play in the NIT or the College Basketball Invitational tournament.

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