7. TCU (13-4, 2-2)
When TCU joined the Big 12 a decade ago, they weren’t seen as any kind of contender in this league, but Jamie Dixon has turned things around in his years as head coach. The Horned Frogs have won a game in the last two NCAA Tournament’s and have a solid team for a third straight season. Part of the school’s success as a player several decades ago, Dixon is etching his own history as the program’s leader and hopes to continue that this year.
TCU played an easy nonconference schedule that saw them win seven straight before challenging losses to Clemson and Nevada. The only notable win was Arizona State, though they’re certainly making an impact early in conference play. They gave Kansas one intense fight at Allen Fieldhouse before picking off Oklahoma and Houston for two immensely important wins. TCU’s most recent outing was a road loss to Cincinnati in overtime, meaning they’ve had four tight battles to start league play.
If anything, Emanuel Miller (who had the game-winner against Houston) and company have shown that they can hang with anyone in this league. The Horned Frogs have played fantastic offensive basketball in recent weeks, though the interior defense has taken a step back against some of these stronger frontcourts. It’ll be interesting to see where things land for the Horned Frogs but it’s impossible to be disappointed by their first two weeks.