Big 12 College Basketball Picks: #20 Texas Longhorns at TCU Horned Frogs

#20 Texas Longhorns at Texas Christian Horned Frogs
Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center – Fort Worth, Texas
Monday, January 19, 2015, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU

Opening Line: Texas -3
Current Line: Texas -2 1/2
Opening Total: 118
Current Total: 120
Opening Money Line: Texas -160 / TCU +135
Current Money Line; Texas -160 / TCU +135 

Texas is a 2.5 point road favorite against TCU Monday in a key Big 12 contest.
Texas is a 2.5 point road favorite against TCU Monday in a key Big 12 contest.

The Big 12 currently has more teams ranked in the top 25 then even the vaunted ACC. Every team in the conference is above .500 overall, and the Big 12 might be the best conference in the nation top to bottom. However, that means the 10 teams will beat up on each other and any team could beat any of the other teams on a given night. The 13-4 Texas Longhorns travel to the 14-3 Texas Christian Horned Frogs Monday night. Texas is 2-2 in conference play and in sixth place. TCU is 1-3 and in ninth place.

Texas leads the series 107-62 against TCU. The Longhorns have won 13 of the last 14 games in the series including 9 straight games. TCU hasn’t beaten Texas since 1995 when both were members of the now defunct Southwest Conference. Texas won the two meetings last year 59-54 in Fort Worth and 66-54 in Austin. TCU makes the return trip to Austin February 11.

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Texas is coached by Rick Barnes. The Longhorns have road losses at Kentucky and Oklahoma State , along with home losses to Stanford and Oklahoma. Texas has neutral site wins over Iowa and California in a tournament in New York, home wins over North Dakota State, Long Beach State, Rice and West Virginia Saturday 77-50, plus road wins over Connecticut and Texas Tech. The West Virginia win snapped a two game losing streak for Texas. The Longhorns are 9-6 ATS and the total is 3-7 this season. Texas was a 3 point favorite against West Virginia and the total was 136.

TCU is coached by Trent Johnson. The Horned Frogs have home losses to West Virginia and Baylor along with a road loss to Kansas State. The Horned Frogs went 13-0 in non-conference play before losing 3 straight games to open Big 12 play. TCU beat Texas Tech 62-42 in Lubbock Saturday to break the 3 game losing streak. The Horned Frogs also have home wins over Washington State and UTSA, along with neutral site wins over Bradley and Mississippi State in a tournament in Corpus Christi, and a road win over Ole Miss. TCU is 5-6 ATS and the total is 2-6 this season. The Horned Frogs were 2.5 point favorites against Texas Tech and the total was 125.5.

Texas is outscoring teams 70-57 this season. The Longhorns are #15 nationally in points allowed. Texas is shooting 43.5% from the field including 34.2% from 3 point range. The Longhorns make 73.6% of their free throws. Texas is #38 nationally in free throw shooting. Opponents are shooting 34.4% from the field including 30.8% from 3 point range. Texas is #4 in field goal defense and #60 in three point defense nationally. The Longhorns average 42.8 rebounds per game and opponents average 25.4 per game. Texas is in the top 5 nationally in both categories. The Longhorns average 12.9 assists, 14 turnovers, 4.2 steals and 7.6 blocks per game. Opponents average 8.9 assists, 10.5 turnovers, 6.5 steals and 3.3 blocks per game.

Texas forward Myles Turner averages 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. Jonathan Holmes averages 11.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists. Isaiah Taylor averages 11.1 points, 3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Javan Felix averages 10.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. Cameron Ridley averages 8.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. Demarcus Holland averages 7.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Kendal Yancy, Connor Lammert, Prince Ibeh, and Jordan Barnett will also get minutes in the rotation.

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TCU is outscoring teams 72-55 this season. The Horned Frogs are #8 nationally in points allowed. TCU is shooting 47% from the field and 35% from 3 point range. The Horned Frogs are #44 nationally in field goal percentage. TCU makes 62.3% of their free throws. The Horned Frogs are #333 out of 353 teams in free throw shooting. Opponents are shooting 34.3% from the field including 31.1% from 3 point range. TCU is #3 nationally in field goal defense. The Horned Frogs average 39.1 rebounds per game and opponents average 28.5. TCU averages 14.7 assists, 12.5 turnovers, 5.8 steals and 6 blocks per game. Opponents average 7.8 assists, 13.2 turnovers, 5.9 steals and 3.1 blocks per game.

TCU guard Kyan Anderson averages 13.9 points, 1.1 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Trey Zeigler averages 8.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. Kenrich Williams averages 8.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.1 blocks per game. Karviar Shepherd averages 6.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. Chris Washburn averages 6.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. Amric Fields averages 6.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Brandon Parrish, Chauncey Collins, and Hudson Price will also get  minutes in the rotation.

Texas is 5-1 ATS in road games and against teams with winning home records, 6-2 after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 7-3 against teams with winning records, and 2-5 overall.

TCU is 6-13 ATS after a cover, 18-39 against Big 12 teams, 22-50 at home, 7-17 after a straight up win, 7-18 against teams with winning road records, 1-4 after allowing less than 50 points and overall, and 1-6 in Monday games.

This should be a very low scoring game in the 50’s or maybe even the 40’s. You have two top 15 defenses and offenses that aren’t exactly explosive. TCU had a relatively soft non-conference schedule and might have been exposed in Big 12 play. A 20 point win over Texas Tech, arguably the worst team in the Big 12 doesn’t really prove much. I think Texas wins a rock fight but it will be a close game.

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