There are no easy games in Big 12 Conference gauntlet, so it would be tough to consider TCU an underdog to Texas, a team that had been in the AP rankings all season until Monday, when the rivals square off on Tuesday in Fort Worth, Texas.
If anything, the Horned Frogs could be considered the teamwith the most momentum, especially after they defeated No. 15 Iowa State 59-44 on the road on Saturday. It was just the Horned Frogs' third ever road victory over a ranked team and over the highest ranked team in program history.
TCU bounced back from a loss at Oklahoma State that went down to the final shot, using superior defense and a career-best 23 points from Damion Baugh to upset the Cyclones who -- a week earlier -- handled then-No.17 Texas.
TCU (13-3, 3-2 in Big 12 play) held Iowa State to 30.9 percent shooting that included a 3 for 26 showing from beyond the arc and outrebounded the Cyclones 39-28 in one of the nation's toughest places to play. Iowa State's 44 points were its fewest in the 51-year history of Hilton Coliseum.
"We had a heartbreaker (at Oklahoma State), and we responded Thursday with mental preparation," TCU coach Jamie Dixon said after the win over Iowa State. "I just thought they prepared to win. They were focused on and understanding of what we did wrong. I'm just excited about this team. I love this team. I love the energy, love the enthusiasm."
Baugh added seven steals (six of them in the first half), the most for a TCU player since 2001, while Charles O'Bannon Jr. had 10 points for the Horned Frogs in the victory, their third in their past four games.
Texas (14-5, 4-3 in Big 12 play) righted its ship a bit after losses on the road to Iowa State on Jan. 15 and at home to Kansas State last Tuesday with a 56-51 home victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday. Marcus Carr led the Longhorns with 14 points, with Tre Mitchell adding 12, Timmy Allen scoring 11 and Courtney Ramey hitting for 10 points in the win.
Texas' starters opened Saturday's game at the Erwin Center with a bucket on the Longhorns' first five possessions against Oklahoma State. The Longhorns ended up with just five points from their bench in the game.
Defense and free throw-shooting proved to be the difference for the Longhorns against Oklahoma State. Texas limited the Cowboys to 37.5 percent shooting from the floor and allowed just two baskets from 3-point range.
Not all was right with the Longhorns. Texas had 20 turnovers in the game, reaching that dubious mark for the second time in three games.
"If there was one thing, we'd fix it," Texas coach Chris Beard said. "If there was one play, we quit running the play. If there was one player, we'd work really hard to get that player to improve. But it's across the board. So, we just kind of keep working at it. But I can tell you this: The guys understand it."
The Longhorns lowered their nation-leading ranking in scoring defense to 54.9 points per game in the victory; Texas improved to 14-0 this season when holding its opponents below 60 points.
Texas hit 14 of 16 of its attempts from the charity stripe, including a 12 of 13 mark in the second half. Carr was 8 of 8 on his free throws.
--Field Level Media