FORT WORTH, Texas (TNS) — On Monday, Bruce Weber called Kansas State's game at TCU "huge," citing both Big 12 and NCAA Tournament implications.
On Tuesday, Weber's Wildcats suffered a huge disappointment, committing three costly turnovers down the stretch in a 66-59 loss to the Horned Frogs — a loss that further clouds the Cats' postseason forecast.
With only a Saturday home date against Baylor remaining on the regular-season schedule, K-State (20-10, 9-8) falls into a tie for fourth in the Big 12 with TCU (21-9, 9-8). More importantly, the loss likely returns the Wildcats to a slippery perch atop the proverbial NCAA bubble.
The Wildcats led 56-55 inside the final two-and-a-half minutes before the turnover bug bit them at the most inopportune time.
When TCU's Desmond Bane converted a Brown turnover into a fastbreak layup with 2:23 to play, it gave the Horned Frogs the lead and sparked a 9-0 run that secured the victory. Brown's turnover was the first of three straight for K-State — Brown committing two of the giveaways and Cartier Diarra committing the final one.
The Horned Frogs made the Wildcats pay with a Vlad Brodziansky 3-pointer from the key and two Bane free throws. After Kamau Stokes missed a fadeaway jumper with about a minute to play and Brown was blocked by Brodziansky, Bane hit two more charities for the 64-56 cushion.
K-State got a corner 3-pointer from Diarra with 33.4 seconds to play, but that was its final score of the night.
Dean Wade led K-State with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting, but the 6-foot-10 junior didn't score after hitting two free throws at the 5:05 mark. Brown added 17 points before his late struggles.
Wade and Brown combined for 21 points in the first half and 16 of K-State's first 21 points after the break.
Kenrich Williams scored 16 points for TCU, and Bane finished with 15.