TCU was one of the coldest teams in the nation heading into its conference tournament. After starting the year 14-3, and then 17-7, the Horned Frogs went through a tailspin with seven straight losses to close the regular season. However, the team collected itself to get into the Big XII quarterfinals and knock off the No. 1 team in the nation - Kansas. TCU then fell to Iowa State in the semifinal round by nearly 20 points.
Fresno State’s Mountain West Tournament appearance will be remembered for the dreadful 25-2 run given up to Nevada, which doomed the Bulldogs in the Mountain West semifinal. The ‘Dogs had been previously red-hot by winning six straight games and holding a sizable lead going into that very second half against Nevada.
Despite the recent trends, the Bulldogs are big underdogs according to the oddsmakers.
- TCU head coach Jamie Dixon - Fresno State travelled to Pittsburgh in the 2013-14 season when Rodney Terry and the Bulldogs’ recent successes were just taking shape. Dixon was in charge of the decorated Pittsburgh program. Current Fresno State seniors Paul Watson and Karachi Edo played in the game as freshmen, taking home a 75-54 loss. Pittsburgh went on to earn a No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament while Fresno State went to the CBI Finals.
- Fresno State forward Karachi Edo - Edo will return his hometown of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Edo’s high school, Berkner High School, is separated from TCU by 50 miles. Edo remains limited due to a leg injury, however.
- TCU guard Jaylen Fisher - There aren’t many connections between the two programs since parting ways in the WAC years ago, but one stretch is in freshman standout Jaylen Fisher. Fisher was expected to be one of the biggest impact freshmen in the Mountain West this season, but he decommitted from UNLV in the midst of a coaching change. Fisher and the Bulldogs will face off after all on Wednesday evening.
What’s on the line
The winner of the Wednesday’s game will earn a trip to the second round of the NIT, which likely means an away game at No. 1 seed Iowa. In the event that Iowa is upset, the winner between Fresno State and TCU would host South Dakota.