In the last 25 years, no team has lost in its conference tournament quarterfinal and gone on to win the national championship.
Kansas has a chance to buck that trend after losing to TCU on Thursday afternoon 85-82. It’s the first time the Jayhawks have been knocked out before the Big 12 tournament semifinals since 2009. Kansas was without star freshman Josh Jackson, but the Horned Frogs played a magnificent 40 minutes — five TCU players reached double figures, and they made 49 percent of their shots on the day.
MORE: Full box score
Give the Jayhawks credit – they battled back from 11 down at one point in the second half. Naismith candidate Frank Mason scored 29 points and played all 40 minutes – he fought to the bitter end. But at the end of the day, the Horned Frogs were just too much.
With one possession to go and the score tied, Alex Robinson drove and found Desmond Bane on a nifty dish in the corner. Bane rose up for a 3 – and was fouled by Svi Mykhailiuk.
Bane calmly hit all three free-throws, and Devonte’ Graham’s last-second 3 clanked off the rim for Kansas.
It was a historic game all around:
When you beat the AP No. 1 team for the first time in program history: pic.twitter.com/o5OhxeV2XN— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) March 9, 2017
TCU had been struggling mightily going into the conference tournament – the Frogs were losers of seven games in a row before topping Oklahoma on Wednesday. On the flip side, Kansas was riding an 11-game winning streak heading into today.
TCU had lost 22 straight against ranked teams. Their last win over a ranked opponent? Kansas.— Matt Jennings (@MattAJennings) March 9, 2017
The last few days of championship week were relatively tame. It looks like TCU is out to change that narrative.