Let’s vote on the final region’s first round matchups!
It’s the final region of the tournament – the Pebley Region. Voting in the first round is open now!
Once voting on this round has ended (4pm Saturday), we’ll spend Sunday looking at the next round’s matchups and debating who should advance before voting opens Monday and Tuesday for the Round of 32.
So let’s dive into the final region’s first round.
#1 Coming Home vs. #16 Boise State missed FG gives TCU win
Coming Home – TCU Joins Big 12
When TCU was shunted to the side after the Southwest Conference dissolved, it started a desert-like wandering that took the Frogs through Conference USA, the WAC, and the Mountain West.
A brief period of dating the Big East gave Frog Fans hope that things like an “automatic BCS bid” was there for the taking, but the dream call finally came when the Big 12 extended an invitation for TCU to come home.
Chris Del Conte’s work to get the Frogs where they are today cannot be understated, and the day they announced TCU was joining the Big 12 is absolutely a premier moment in the history of TCU Athletics.
Dan Goodale misses 37-yard field goal, TCU beats No. 5 Boise State
We’ve already talked about one play from this game, but Boyce’s 2-point conversion wouldn’t have been nearly as significant had Dan Goodale make this 37-yard field goal.
But, the miss gave TCU the win, and snapped Boise State’s 65-straight home win streak.
#8 “I’m That Guy” vs. #9 Barzilli Walk-Off vs. NC State
“I’m That Guy” Desmond Bane’s step-back three vs. Baylor (2020)
A crossover. A step-back three. The crowd explodes. The star player fully realizes what he’s capable of, and acknowledges his excellence. It’s all perfect.
Elliott Barzilli’s Walk-Off vs. NC State (2015)
This game was absolutely insane. The Frogs trailed North Carolina State 8-1 in the eighth inning. Then the Wolfpack completely collapsed. Two RBI singles, plus a walk, a balk, and a passed ball brought the Frogs to within 8-7. In the ninth another passed ball allowed Derek Odell to score and tie the game.
Which sets us up for this moment. A runner on third and the infield playing in, Barzilli stepped up to the plate. He slapped a ball into right field, the run came home to score, and TCU’s comeback was complete.
Adding to the weight of Barzilli’s hit – without this comeback TCU would not have hosted Texas A&M in the 2015 Super Regionals. They would not have had a Game 3 walkout (another moment in this region), and they would not have gone to the College World Series.
#5 Jet Anderson breaks UT ankles vs. #12 Kenny Hill trifecta vs. Stanford
Darius Anderson jukes Texas safety, scores TD
TCU came into this game 7-1, ranked No. 8 in the country, and looking to bounce back from a rough 14-7 loss to Iowa State the week before. The defense looked strong out of the gate as it had all season, holding Texas to just seven points in the first half. TCU’s offense struggled, though, looking inconsistent on the night.
Leading by 10 late in the fourth quarter, TCU faced a 4th and 1 in Texas’ territory. Rather than attempting a field goal, the Frogs went for it. Darius Anderson took the handoff, broke through the line, and then absolutely put a Texas safety on skates – zipping past him and into the end zone.
The touchdown would be the final score of TCU’s 24-7 victory.
Kenny Hill’s rushing/passing/receiving TD day vs. Stanford
For all the crap that Kenny Hill caught from TCU fans, seemingly for simply not being Trevone Boykin (hindsight, oof), he was a fantastic quarterback for the Horned Frogs. Hill highlighted all of his abilities against Stanford in the 2017 Alamo Bowl.
He dropped an absolute dime to freshman Jalen Reagor for a 93-yard touchdown, he rushed for a touchdown, and he caught a touchdown pass from Desmon White (who also had a nifty punt return TD in this game).
#4 TCU Walks-Off A&M vs. #13 Reagor Hail Mary vs. SMU
TCU walks-off Texas A&M in 2015 Super Regional
There are several things at play in this moment. First, there’s a pretty clear understanding that Evan Skoug should have ended the game two innings earlier. He absolutely roped a ball, and had it not deflected off of the Aggie pitcher, that might be the moment in this bracket instead of this one.
But two innings later Skoug got another chance. With two runners on and two outs, Skoug hit a hard, bouncing grounder down the third base line. A&M’s third baseman ranged back to field it, but it bounced a few feet away from him.
Garrett Crain boldly (and probably unadvisedly) rounded third and headed for home. The third baseman recovered, and fired the ball toward home plate. If the catcher snags it, Cain is out by several feet. But the ball skipped away to the backstop, and TCU advanced to the College World Series.
Jalen Reagor Hail Mary vs. SMU in 2017
TCU found themselves in another battle with SMU in 2017, with the Mustangs taking control early and holding a lead in the second quarter. With time winding down in the half, Kenny Hill threw up a Hail Mary.
Only one person got the memo to jump: Jalen Reagor.
— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) September 16, 2017
TCU went on to win the game 56-36.
#6 McFarland Peach Bowl Pick-6 vs. #11 Carraway Fumble TD vs. Baylor
James McFarland End Zone Interception
In a game full of crazy plays, TCU’s rout of Ole Miss in the 2014 Peach Bowl had it all. Double passes, Boykin Jukes, defensive stands. And there was James McFarland, taking full advantage of his teammates destroying Bo Wallace by catching Wallace’s desperation floater for a pick six.
Carraway Fumble TD vs. Baylor in 2015
This play already made it out of our First Four bracket on Sunday night, defeating Jason Verrett’s field goal block against West Virginia in 2014. Here’s the writeup from that post:
What a sluggish, disgusting, beautiful mess this football game was. Injuries affected this game before it even started, and it ended with a legendary play (that may or may not be in the bracket already).
But with TCU down in the first half 14-7 and struggling to do anything on offense, Josh Carraway said “don’t worry, I’ve got this.”
#3 Paul Dawson Pick-6 vs. OU vs. #14 Oberkrom GW FG vs. WVU
When No. 4 Oklahoma came to Fort Worth in 2014, we were all still discovering just how good that 2014 Frog team was. They broke into the Top 25 the week prior, following a 56-0 win over SMU, but the Sooners were the first major test of the year.
With the game knotted at 31 early in the fourth quarter, the Frogs turned to one of their defensive leaders to make a play. And he did. Paul Dawson’s touchdown was the game winning score for the Frogs in the end.
Oberkrom kicks game-winner vs. WVU in 2014
The Frogs trailed by nine points in the fourth quarter of this game, but fought all the way back to force overtime. Jason Verrett kept things going in OT with an incredible blocked field goal, and with the game on the line the Frogs turned to Jaden Oberkrom to seal the victory.
#7 Michelle Berry Tip in vs. Texas vs. #10 Morrison 88-pitch complete game
Michelle Berry Tip-In beats Texas
TCU Women’s Basketball had an incredible run this year. My heart breaks for them that the tournament was cancelled, because they had a legitimate shot at making a run deep into March.
One of the moments this season that signaled these women were special was the victory over Texas back in January. A hard-fought game came down to the wire, and when it mattered most Michelle Berry was in the right spot at the right time.
Preston Morrison’s 88-pitch complete game shutout
Preston Morrison is arguably one of TCU’s most dominant pitchers of all time. He threw five complete game shutouts in his career, but his effort against Arizona State in 2015 stands above the others. It took him just 88 pitches (read: less than ten pitches per inning) to dispose of the top-10 ranked Sun Devils. He retired 27 of the last 25 batters he faced.
It was a phenomenal effort from an extraordinary pitcher.
#2 Bram Kohlhausen TD run vs. Oregon vs. #15 Ryan Merrill Walks-Off A&M in Houston
Bram mixes it up with TD run vs. Oregon
The TCU-Oregon Alamo Bowl has been talked about by Frog fans so much, there’s almost nothing left to say about it. Bram Kohlhausen will always be a legend because of his performance in this one, and his third overtime touchdown run was TCU’s winning score.
Ryan Merrill Walks-Off A&M
This walk off didn’t happen in a Super Regional or the College World Series, but it was still an incredible moment in the TCU-A&M baseball rivalry.
Facing off in the Shriners Classic down in Houston, the Frogs and Aggies engaged in a 15-inning, six hour marathon game that stretched into the wee hours of the morning.
I wouldn’t be able to put it into words as well as former FOW writer Dean Straka did right here. Here’s an excerpt:
Momentum had swung back and forth at Minute Maid Park more times than anybody cared to count. More players had been utilized than anybody cared to count. Less than 12 hours remained before TCU baseball would be back on the field to take on another SEC powerhouse.
And by the time head coach Jim Schlossnagle was wrapping up his postgame spiel, there was one line of advice that resounded above the rest for everyone who had been a part of the 15 inning marathon that fateful night in Houston.
“Get something quick to eat and go to sleep.”
Source: Frogs of War