TCU faces Texas in first Big 12 tournament


    For the first time in his TCU career, Garlon Green will enter a conference tournament coming off a win.

    TCU (11-20 overall, 2-16 Big 12) beat Oklahoma 70-67 Saturday in its final regular season game. The Frogs came into the last three Mountain West Conference tournaments having dropped at least two games in a row.

    “We definitely needed a win going in so we can get into the tournament [and] get our first win,” Green said after the Oklahoma win.

    The tenth-seeded Frogs will have to take down Texas to get that first win at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament. Texas (15-16, 7-11) took down Texas Tech 71-69 in overtime Saturday to grab the No. 7 seed.

    The Longhorns beat the Frogs 68-59 on Feb. 19 to complete the season sweep. The freshman trio of Ioannis Papapetrou, Myck Kabongo and Conner Lammert combined for 40 points in the win. The Frogs tied the game at 48 with 8:42 left, but were unable to complete the comeback.

    Head coach Trent Johnson said the Frogs have played better during the last two regular season games, including a 79-68 loss to Kansas State.

    “We played well two games in a row,” Johnson said. “I don’t think we’ve done that all year long. We came off a victory, as everybody still wants to talk about, versus Kansas. We didn’t play very well at home versus West Virginia [the following game].

    “So this is the first time versus good competition, K-state and Oklahoma who are two NCAA tournament teams, we’ve played back-to-back pretty good basketball,” Johnson said.

    The Frogs shot over 50 percent from the field in both games and hit a combined 14 3-pointers. 

    Beating Oklahoma Saturday was a boost to the team’s confidence, freshman guard Charles Hill Jr. said.

    “We had one win against Kansas and that was a home win,” Hill Jr. said. “People were doubting our ability to get another win.”

    TCU will battle Texas for its third conference win Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. from The Sprint Center in Kansas City. The winner will take on the No. 2 seed Kansas State on Thursday.

    Conference Tournament Rankings:

    1.     Kansas Jayhawks*

    2.     Kansas State Wildcats*

    3.     Oklahoma State

    4.     Oklahoma

    5.     Iowa State

    6.     Baylor

    7.     Texas

    8.     West Virginia

    9.     Texas Tech

    10.     TCU

    *Shared Big 12 regular season title

    First round (Wednesday):

    No. 8 West Virginia v. No.9 Texas Tech, 6 p.m.

    No. 7 Texas v. No. 10 TCU, 8:30 p.m.

    All games on ESPN3 and Big 12 Network