TCU faces tall task in Big 12 tourney tilt against Kansas

Mar 12, 2015 - 2:57 PM Kansas City, MO ( - The top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks begin their quest for yet another Big 12 Tournament title, as they take on the TCU Horned Frogs in the quarterfinals of the 19th annual event on Thursday afternoon.

The winner advances to the semifinals on Friday to face either West Virginia or Baylor.

TCU earned its first-ever Big 12 Tournament win on Wednesday by knocking off Kansas State in the opening round, 67-65. The Horned Frogs, who are the No. 9 seed in the event, improved to 18-14 on the season, and they snapped a three- game losing streak with yesterday's win.

Kansas claimed its 11th straight Big 12 regular-season title, and its 15th in 19 years, but the team has split its last four games entering the tourney. With nine Big 12 Tournament crowns to their credit, the Jayhawks have won three times as many titles as any team in the league, and they own an impressive 36-9 record in the event all-time. KU did not play in the championship game last year, but has done so a total of 10 times.

Kansas owns a 9-1 series advantage over TCU, and the Jayhawks won both meetings during the regular season.

The Horned Frogs got a pair of 16-point efforts from Chris Washburn and Kyan Anderson, and 15 more from Trey Zeigler in Wednesday's first-round win over Kansas State. TCU shot 47.4 percent from the field, but went just 4-of-10 from 3-point range and only 9-of-19 at the foul line. Fortunately, the Wildcats made good on only 39.7 percent of their total shots, missing the mark on five of their six long-range launches in the game. KSU did manage an 18-of-24 showing at the charity stripe, but committed 13 turnovers. TCU scored 21 second-chance points in the triumph.

Despite their success this season, Kansas doesn't lead the Big 12 in any statistical category, although it certainly ranks among the league leaders in several of them. The Jayhawks, who boast only two double-digit scorers in Perry Ellis (14.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Frank Mason III (12.6 ppg, 4.1 apg), are putting up 71.9 ppg thanks in large part to a 38.3 percent performance out on the perimeter. Defensively, KU permits an average of 65.1 ppg, and it allows opponents to connect on only 39.5 percent of their field goal attempts while logging a +3.8 rebounding margin. The Jayhawks commit roughly one more turnover per game than they force.

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