Frogs hopeful of keeping campaign alive

Frogs hopeful of continuing comeback campaign

Not long ago, TCU engineered a stunning upset of conference rival Kansas. But will Jamie Dixon’s ascending program knock off a Big Ten behemoth as the NIT’s second round draws to a close?

Back in the postseason for the first time since 2012, the 20-15 Horned Frogs invade Iowa at 5 p.m. ET. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the Hawkeyes odds of -135 to take care of business at home. Conversely, the visiting team represents a +115 underdog.

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Dixon, of course, has consistently defied expectations in his first year on campus. TCU entered Big 12 play with just a single loss. While February’s road was filled with potholes, the magic returning during the league tournament. Kenrich Williams & Co. handed the vaunted Jayhawks an 85-82 defeat on March 9. The Frogs fared similarly well in Wednesday’s NIT opener vs. Fresno State, holding the Bulldogs under 43 percent shooting from the floor.

Iowa (19-14) figures to offer a stiffer challenge, primarily because of its willingness to spread the wealth. Fran McCaffery’s squad ranks eighth nationally in assists per game (21.0). Additionally, senior guard Peter Jok possesses the ability to collect buckets en masse. The West Des Moines native crossed the 15-point mark in three of his final six regular-season contests.

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Still, McCaffery’s troops are coming off a somewhat shaky, turnover-heavy effort against South Dakota. We look at TCU’s much-improved résumé away from Fort Worth, too, and can’t help but be impressed. Expect a back-and-forth gem of a matinee at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

 

SUNDAY NCAA FREE PICK: TCU/IOWA OVER 153 POINTS

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