Tournament to be played at Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri.
Texas Christian Horned Frogs vs Iowa St. Cyclones (-4, 146)
TCU’s quarterfinal victory over No. 1 Kansas was the first time in school history that the Horned Frogs defeated a top-three ranked team in 18 tries. So the Horned Frogs, who entered the tournament with a seven-game losing streak that they snapped with a first-round 82-63 victory over Oklahoma, will now try win the rubber match against an Iowa State squad that has won seven of its last eight games, including a 84-71 decision over TCU on Feb. 18 in Ames. However, TCU won the first meeting 84-77 in Fort Worth on Jan. 14 and will try to keep its glass slipper from shattering one more day. “We owe them one, too,” TCU junior guard Alex Robinson said Thursday. “We lost to them at their house. It’s going to be a great game. Great players. … We just have to prepare like we did for this one and OU.” The Horned Frogs, who finished 12-21 a year ago, haven’t made the NCAA Tournament in 18 years and last won a game in March Madness back in 1987 when first-year coach Jamie Dixon led the team in assists en route to All-Southwest Conference honors.
All-American senior point guard Monte Morris, the preseason Big 12 Player of the Year who leads the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (6.17), surprisingly was not named one of the five finalists for the Bob Cousy Award that goes to the nation’s top point guard and was a man on a mission against Oklahoma State, finishing just an assist shy of only the second triple-double Big 12 tourney history with 21 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. “Mr. Bob Cousy down there is the best point guard in the country,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said. “I don’t know how much tape they’re watching for that Bob Cousy Award not to have him as a top-five guy in the country. He would have been a great representative for that award and what it’s about.” The Cyclones connected on 12-of-24 3-pointers in the win over Oklahoma State, including 7-of-8 in the second half, and have five players on the team who have made at least 30 3-pointers this season, including senior guard Naz Mitrou-Long who averaged a Big 12-best 3.0 treys per game.
* Horned Frogs are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games.
* Cyclones are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game.
* Under is 8-1 in Horned Frogs last 9 Friday games.
* Over is 7-0 in Cyclones last 7 overall.
* Over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
Kansas State Wildcats vs West Virginia Mountaineers (-6.5, 139.5)
Kansas State guard Barry Brown, a 6-3 sophomore, was spectacular in Thursday night’s upset of Baylor, connecting on all four of his 3-pointers and sinking 9-of-13 free throws, including 5-of-6 in the final 31 seconds to help seal the victory. His four-point play with 9:34 left triggered a 7-1 run that built the Wildcats’ lead to 47-38, and Baylor never got closer than four points the rest of the way. Senior forward D.J. Johnson also scored in double figures (13) and grabbed a team high seven rebounds to go along with two steals and two blocks while sophomore guard Kamau Stokes added nine points and five assists.
West Virginia’s path for its first ever Big 12 Tournament title appeared to get a whole lot easier Thursday when top seed and No. 1 ranked Kansas was upset by TCU and third seed and No. 10 ranked Baylor fell to Kansas State in quarterfinals. Assuming the favorites role meant little to the Mountaineers who are just two wins away from their first conference tourney championship since winning the Big East in 2010. “Honestly, we don’t really pay attention to what other teams are doing,” junior guard Jevon Carter said when asked if his team took notice of the Kansas loss before taking the court. “It’s about us. You can’t play the next game until you win the current game, so that was the message to the team.” Carter, a second team all-Big 12 pick and the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, showed he can play a little offense too in the win over the Longhorns, connecting on 5-of-7 3-pointers (71.4 percent) en route to a game-high 21 points.
* Wildcats are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Friday games.
* Mountaineers are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. Big 12.
* Over is 9-2 in Wildcats last 11 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Under is 4-0 in Mountaineers last 4 games following a straight up win.
* Over is 9-2 in the last 11 meetings.