TCU men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon, a former TCU player, explains the significance of being the first coach in school history to take down the nation's top-ranked team. TCU upset No. 1 Kansas 85-82 on Thursday in Kansas City. Video by Jimmy Burch jburch@star-telegram.com
TCU men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon, a former TCU player, explains the significance of being the first coach in school history to take down the nation's top-ranked team. TCU upset No. 1 Kansas 85-82 on Thursday in Kansas City. Video by Jimmy Burch jburch@star-telegram.com

TCU

TCU topples No. 1 for first time, conquering Kansas to reach Big 12 semifinals

March 09, 2017 08:07 PM

UPDATED March 09, 2017 11:29 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo.

The final buzzer sounded, triggering an onslaught of TCU players rushing from the bench Thursday to join teammates in celebrating the highest-profile win in the history of the program.

They embraced freshman Desmond Bane, whose three foul shots with 2.5 seconds remaining provided the margin of victory in a stunning, 85-82 upset over No. 1 Kansas in Thursday’s quarterfinal round of the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament at the Sprint Center.

Guard Brandon Parrish, a senior who set a school record for games played in his TCU career (130) during the contest, punctuated the moment with a salute to fans before offering an emotional assessment of the situation during the postgame news conference.

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TCU's Parrish gets emotional discussing KU win

TCU guard Brandon Parrish, a senior who has played more games in a Horned Frogs' uniform than any player in program history (130), breaks down the significance of Thursday's 85-82 upset of No. 1 Kansas. Video by Jimmy Burch

jburch@star-telegram.com

“This is the win of my career, right here, to be completely honest,” said Parrish, an Arlington Seguin graduate who was a freshman starter on TCU’s team that failed to win a game against Big 12 opponents during the 2013-14 season. “A lot of times … people would tell us that we were never good enough, we would never be able to get it done.”

Against the top-ranked Jayhawks, TCU got it done against the No. 1 team in the nation for the first time in program history. Five players scored in double figures, led by guard Kenrich Williams (18 points, eight rebounds). The upset allowed the Horned Frogs (19-14) to post their 19th victory under first-year coach Jamie Dixon, the school’s most in any season as a Big 12 member.

22 Consecutive losses by TCU to ranked opponents before Thursday’s 85-82 upset of No. 1 Kansas.

TCU earned a matchup against Iowa State (21-10) in Friday’s tournament semifinals (6 p.m., ESPN2), marking the deepest journey TCU has made in the conference tournament as a Big 12 member.

By knocking off Kansas (28-4), the Frogs ended a 22-game losing streak to ranked opponents that dated to a 70-55 victory over No. 21 Oklahoma State on Feb. 14, 2015. TCU ended a stretch of 49 consecutive losses to ranked opponents in road venues or neutral sites since an 83-76 victory at No. 24 Hawaii on Jan. 19, 1998.

More than anything, Thursday’s triumph will be remembered as the first time the Frogs took down the nation’s top-ranked team. Dixon, a former TCU player, acknowledged it was special to be the coach to make it happen.

TCU's Parrish gets emotional discussing KU win

TCU guard Brandon Parrish, a senior who has played more games in a Horned Frogs' uniform than any player in program history (130), breaks down the significance of Thursday's 85-82 upset of No. 1 Kansas. Video by Jimmy Burch

jburch@star-telegram.com

“This is why I did it,” said Dixon, who led Pittsburgh to 11 NCAA Tournament appearances in 13 seasons before taking over the TCU program this year. “I felt if anybody could turn this program around, why not me? We’re not there yet. This is one win. But we’re obviously making progress.”

22 Consecutive losses by TCU to ranked opponents before Thursday’s 85-82 upset of No. 1 Kansas.

It took Bane’s crunch-time free throws to break an 82-82 tie in a contest in which TCU trailed by 12 points in the first half before rallying to take a 60-49 lead with 13:57 remaining. Kansas, playing without suspended freshman standout Josh Jackson, rallied to take an 80-76 lead with 2:18 remaining.

But the Frogs responded with a pair of free throws from both Parrish and Alex Robinson to knot the game before a Robinson layup gave TCU the lead, 82-80 with 31 seconds remaining. After a pair of free throws by Kansas’ Frank Mason (game-high 29 points), Robinson penetrated on TCU’s final possession and found Bane in the corner for a 3-point attempt.

This is why I did it. I felt if anybody could turn this program around, why not me? We’re not there yet. This is one win. But we’re obviously making progress.

TCU men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon, a former Horned Frogs’ player, on the significance of being the first coach to beat a top-ranked opponent.

Kansas defender Svi Mykhailiuk collided with Bane upon release, sending the freshman to the line with 2.5 seconds to play. Bane, who finished with 16 points in 21 minutes off the bench, made all three free throws to punctuate the signature triumph of TCU’s turnaround season.

“We ran a high ball screen for … Alex, and I know he likes to throw that drift pass to the corner. I was spotting up and he found me,” Bane said. “Luckily, I got fouled. All my teammates came up to me, tried to calm me down, make sure everything was cool. And I stepped to the line and knocked them down.”

49 Consecutive losses by TCU in road venues or neutral sites against Top 25 opponents since January, 1998 before Thursday’s win over No. 1 Kansas in Kansas City, Mo.

By doing so, he knocked out the team that has won seven of the last 12 Big 12 tournament titles. A different team will cut down the nets after Saturday’s title game and accept the Big 12’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament given to the tournament winner.

Dixon said he is starting to believe TCU, which began the event as the No. 8 seed with a seven-game losing streak, could be that team after taking down Oklahoma and Kansas in consecutive contests in Kansas City.

“I felt this was an NCAA Tournament team that didn’t get it done for a stretch there,” Dixon said. “Maybe we had to grow into it. Maybe we’re growing now, rather than two weeks ago.”

Jimmy Burch: 817-390-7760, @Jimmy_Burch

TCU's Desmond Bane on his play, free throws that beat No. 1 Kansas

TCU guard Desmond Bane breaks down the final play and his game-winning free throws in Thursday's 85-82 upset of No. 1 Kansas. The victory was the first by TCU in program history over a top-ranked team. Video by Jimmy Burch.

jburch@star-telegram.com

TCU (19-14): Brodziansky 3-12 5-6 11, Miller 1-5 0-0 2, K.Williams 7-12 3-5 18, Fisher 3-6 1-1 7, Robinson 5-11 2-2 13, Shepherd 3-4 0-1 6, Washburn 0-0 0-0 0, M.Williams 0-0 0-0 0, B.Parrish 4-7 2-2 12, Bane 5-6 4-5 16. Totals 31-63 17-22 85.

KANSAS (28-4): Lucas 5-7 3-4 13, Vick 4-10 0-0 9, Mason 7-15 12-13 29, Mykhailiuk 6-10 2-4 18, Graham 2-10 4-4 10, Coleby 1-1 0-0 2, Lightfoot 0-0 0-0 0, Bragg 0-3 1-2 1. Totals 25-56 22-27 82.

Halftime—TCU 43-42. 3-Point Goals—TCU 6-16 (Bane 2-3, B.Parrish 2-5, Robinson 1-2, K.Williams 1-4, Brodziansky 0-1, Miller 0-1), Kansas 10-30 (Mykhailiuk 4-8, Mason 3-8, Graham 2-10, Vick 1-4). Fouled Out—K.Williams. Rebounds—TCU 34 (K.Williams 8), Kansas 30 (Lucas 14). Assists—TCU 14 (Robinson 7), Kansas 15 (Mason 6). Total Fouls—TCU 21, Kansas 17. Technicals—TCU coach Jamie Dixon, Kansas coach Bill Self. A—18,972 (18,972).