TCU's Karviar Shepherd dunks the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Conference tournament Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The TCU men’s basketball season is set to get underway soon, and the Horned Frogs’ schedule includes some big and tough match-ups this year.

The Marquee Games

The first big game that TCU will have is against currently ranked No. 23 West Virginia on January 4. This marks the team’s Big 12 home opener, and the first conference game to be played in the newly renovated Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena.

TCU will be coming off a fairly easy non-conference schedule, as they will play only two Power 5 teams before the Big 12 opener in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on January 2. The Frogs lost both of their matchups against West Virginia last year, one in overtime. TCU has never beaten West Virginia in the program’s history.

The next two big contests that TCU has are against currently ranked No. 21 Baylor on January 13 and February 27. Games against Baylor are always bigger than games against any other opponent, considering the history between the two schools.

While the universities do not call the contests between TCU and Baylor a “rivalry,” there is no love lost between the two teams. TCU lost both games against Baylor last year, one in overtime. Since joining the Big 12, TCU has never beaten Baylor on the court.

The Challenging Contests

Half of the Big 12 is currently ranked in the Top 25, according to the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Kansas University tops the Big 12, currently ranked No. 5. The Big 12 with the Big 10 for most teams in the Top 25.

This means that all of TCU’s conference games are going to be a hurdle. The toughest set of games, however, are likely to be against Kansas and Iowa State.

The Frogs face off against the Jayhawks on January 16 and February 6. Kansas is seeking to win the Big 12 regular season title for the 12th time in a row.

The Jayhawks leads the all-time series 10-1, with the lone loss coming in 2013 as one of the biggest upsets in Big 12 basketball history.

The second toughest set of games will be against the Iowa State Cyclones. Iowa State starts the season as the second highest ranked team in the Big 12 at No. 7. TCU plays tISU on January 23 and February 20. TCU lost both of its games against Iowa State last year and has never beaten the Cyclones since entering the conference.

The message is simple: The Frogs have their work cut out for them, and it will take a full team effort to compete with their opponents. The margin for error is minimal in the Big 12.

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Kevin is a senior sports broadcasting major from Rockton, Illinois. He covers club sports for TCU360.