Sports

TCU Basketball Wraps Up Regular Big 12 Season

TCU basketball players drives the ball to the basket during a match up against WVU
Photo from TCU Athletics

TCU End Big 12 Regular Season

With the final three games coming in the 2021 season kicking off tonight, TCU basketball wraps up their 2020-21 season. The Horned Frogs will try to play spoiler in maybe the most competitive conference in the nation. The upcoming matchups with Texas Tech, West Virginia, and Texas are all games in which TCU is the underdog. All three of those teams are ranked in the top 20, with West Virginia knocking on the door of a top-five finish.

TCU vs. Texas Tech

The first game is on the road in Lubbock to face the always dangerous Red Raiders of Texas Tech. In Texas Tech’s last game against Texas, they showed that they could neutralize the Longhorns’ ability to score for minutes at a time. The Red Raiders have been an up and down team all year that starts with All-American guard Mac McClung and possible 1st round draft pick Terrance Shannon. When Tech gets those two going, they are almost impossible to stop, but it has been shown that if you can knock one off his game, you can create a good opportunity for your team. R.J. Nembhard will have to continue being the focal point of the offense, and in the last three games, he has personally attributed 41% of all of TCU’s points. Kevin Samuel has a big matchup against Marcus Santos-Silva that will be interesting to watch play out.

TCU vs. WVU

Next up, TCU is still on the road into Morgantown, West Virginia, to take on the Mountaineers. Like Tech, West Virginia has been inconsistent throughout the season, but as of late, they look like serious contenders for the NCAA tournament and are currently ranked 6th in the country. Coach Bob Huggins has his team playing great fundamental basketball. They do a great job getting big on the glass and dominating the rebounds. They can also hurt you in so many ways.

Against Tech, WVU started the game by bruising down low with Derek Culver before getting into foul trouble. Enter Sam McNeil. McNeil wasn’t even supposed to be starting, but due to an injury, he got minutes and wound up leading the team with 26 points. TCU will need to play perfectly on every play, or this one could get out of hand fast. However, TCU has shown an ability to keep games close, which may help them if they’re able to hang around long enough.

TCU Basketball Wraps Up Final Game Against UT

Finally, there is the game against UT in TCU’s final home game of the season. Somehow this game may actually be the game TCU has the best chance of winning. Texas is coming off a bad loss against Tech where they got dominated on both sides of the ball and at times looked as if they had gotten their talent stolen by the aliens from “Space Jam.” Unfortunately for them, they did not have Michael Jordan to help them as the Looney Tunes did. Texas had early success down low with Jericho Smith, but Tech quickly adjusted and forced UT behind the arc. TCU can play the same kind of defense, and I think this game will be the best one to watch between all three.

All three of these matchups offer exciting and unique differences. Although in the bottom three of the Big 12, TCU has enough talent to pull off the upset in any one of these games. Whether it be against Tech, WVU, or UT is yet to be seen. I think that Tech will just be too hot to handle, and TCU will fall 72-65. WVU is playing for a possible one seed, so they will be playing their most demanding basketball and beat TCU 75-62. Texas, however, is in a state of confusion, and that leaves them vulnerable. I think TCU gets the upset, knocking off the Longhorns by a score of 66-65.

Story By Ryan Scott, Campus Live Intern

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