IT'S A TRAP!
I hate calling a game a trap game. But if I was ever to use that term, this would be it.
This is NOT the TCU team that went 0-18 in Big 12 play last season and 9-22 overall. This TCU team leads the Big 12 in scoring defense, giving up just 55.1 ppg. This TCU team has depth - nine players play double-digit minutes per game. This TCU team has veteran leadership - senior G Kyan Anderson is the team's leading scorer (13.9 ppg).
This TCU team is 14-3 and has size - 6 of its top 7 scorers are 6-5 (Trey Ziegler, 8.8 ppg), 6-7 (Kenrich Williams, 8.1 ppg), 6-10 (Karviar Shepherd, 6.9 ppg), 6-8 (Chris Washburn, 6.8 ppg), 6-9 (Amric Fields, 6.7 ppg) and 6-6 (Brandon Parrish, 6.2 ppg).
TCU's league record 1-3 is deceiving because the toads lost their Big 12 opener in a thriller to West Virginia, lost by 5 points (58-53) at Kansas State and lost in OT to Baylor before smacking Texas Tech by 20 (62-42) in Lubbock.
The Longhorns better approach this game with the same aggressiveness they showed against WVU or they'll be back under .500 in league play.
WHO IS THE BIG 12 TEAM TO BEAT?
You could argue there are eight teams in the Big 12 capable of rising up and winning it all. But I think we learn who the favorite is after Tuesday night's game between Kansas State and Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum.
K-State lost at Oklahoma State to open B12 play, but the Wildcats went into Norman and beat OU 66-63 in OT and have held serve at hoe vs TCU, Tech and Baylor.
Iowa State won at West Virginia and lost at Baylor, and the Cyclones have protected their home floor against Oklahoma State and Kansas.
The win over Kansas on Saturday night could and probably should have been worse. ISU was up 71-57 before hanging on for an 86-81 win over the Jayhawks.
Right now, my gut tells me Iowa State is the team with the best chance to keep Kansas from winning an 11th straight Big 12 regular-season title.
The Cyclones don't play great defense, giving up 66.9 points per game (10th in the B12) and allowing opponents to shoot 40.9 percent from the floor. They're not a great rebounding team and lack great size in inside.
But everyone on the floor for ISU shoots the ball well - really well (49 percent). And the Cyclones lead the B12 in scoring (80.3 ppg) and may have the best point guard in the league in sophomore Monte Morris.
Morris is a playmaker, who averages a league-best 5.9 assists per game, and a league-best assist-to-turnover ratio of 5.53.
The Cyclones have five players averaging double-figures in scoring, led by juniors Georges Niang (14.9 ppg) and 3-point, sharpshooter Naz Long (13.0 ppg) and athletic, 6-6 senior Bryce Dejean-Jones (12.9 ppg), who also leads the team in rebounding (6.0 rpg).
ISU's 6-6 F Dustin Hogue leads the B12 in FG percentage (.611).
That's a lot of weapons. And The Mayor - coach Fred Hoiberg - may be the second-best coach in the league behind Bill Self.
Keep an eye on Iowa State.
TEXAS WOMEN IN ANOTHER TOP 4 SHOWDOWN TONIGHT - AT BAYLOR (ON TV)
Tonight at 5:30 pm CT on Fox Sports 1, the Longhorns try to make it 4-0 at No. 3 Baylor.
Let's see if Texas can slow down Baylor sophomore G Nina Davis, who leads the Big 12 in scoring (21.7 ppg).
This would be a hell of a win for Texas. I don't see that happening tonight.
I DON'T KNOW HOW ... BUT Seattle IS IN THE SUPER BOWL
For 57 minutes, Seattle and QB Russell Wilson looked like they were point shaving. Wilson had thrown 4 interceptions, and Seattle had turned it over 5 times.
Green Bay was thinking about what Scottsdale restaurants it would be eating in for the Super Bowl.
Then, this surreal, improbable, are-you-kidding-me sequence of events happened:
1) Wilson found Marshawn Lynch on a wheel route, setting up a Russell Wilson TD ...
2) GB botched the onside kick coverage because TE Brandon Bostic (who was supposed to block on the play so Jordy Nelson could catch it) tried to be the hero and ended up a Bill Buckner-esque figure in Packers football history ...
3) Then, Marshawn walks into the end zone (and grabs himself) ...
4) A prayer 2-point conversion pass that Ha Ha Clinton-Dix could have swatted, swiped, spiked - anything - but instead he froze and allowed the receiver to catch it in the end zone and then suddenly tried to break up the pass.
5) A coin toss win and then Wilson's first and only completion to WR Jermaine Kearse for a TD later (after the five previous targets to Kearse resulted in 4 INTs and an incompletion), the Seahawks were back in the Super Bowl after scoring 15 points in 44 seconds. (And nearly covered the 7-point spread.)
I was left saying this ....
THIS N THAT ...
* REMEMBER WHEN HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING MATTERED? ... I watched Deontay Wilder become the first U.S.-born heavyweight boxing champion since 2006 on Showtime in a unanimous decision over Bermane Stivern. I have to be honest, and I like boxing, I didn't know anyone existed in the heavyweight division outside of Vladimir Klitschko.
But I found myself entertained by Wilder, who has a nice jab (reminiscent of a young Larry Holmes), a big personality and cuts an imposing figure in the ring at 6-foot-7. And he's got a great story after working at Red Lobster making $400 a week with a daughter who has medical needs.
Still, I found myself saying I'd never spend for a pay-per-view to see Wilder. Hopefully, Showtime understands that.
* CONOR MCGREGOR HAS MY ATTENTION: I'm not a diehard UFC fan, but I enjoyed the free UFC card on Fox Sports 1 Sunday night, including featherweight Conor McGregor rearranging Dennis Siver's face and setting up a titanic clash with Jose Aldo (tenatively set for May in Las Vegas). I'd throw in $5 at someone's house for a pay-per-view of that fight.
* MAX SCHERZER TO THE NATIONALS: As a Tigers fan, this crushes me, because it signals the end of an era that didn't result in a World Series win for the Tigers.
They lost to San Francisco in the 2012 World Series with a starting rotation that included Scherzer and Doug Fister. Now, both are in Washington.
Give it up to Scherzer, who turned down a $144 million offer from Detroit before last season, so he could bet on himself for a bigger offer this year - and he's getting it. (And having Scott Boras as an agent doesn't hurt.)