SPOT­LIGHT

The Washington Post Sunday - - COLLEGE BASKETBALL -

Jamie Dixon Coach, TCU In 13 sea­sons at Pitts­burgh, Dixon won 328 games but of­ten fielded ques­tions about why his teams didn’t go fur­ther in March. Maybe the at­ten­tion should swing back to all those games his teams win. Texas Chris­tian, 12-21 last sea­son, is 16-7 and firmly on the NCAA tour­na­ment bub­ble. But that doesn’t be­gin to de­scribe the Horned Frogs’ progress in Dixon’s first sea­son coach­ing his alma mater. TCU is 5-5 in Big 12 play af­ter go­ing 864 in its first four sea­sons in the league. And Satur­day’s 78-63 win gave the Frogs their first reg­u­lar sea­son sweep of Texas since 1987, when Dixon was a se­nior guard for a team that was on its way to the South­west Con­fer­ence ti­tle and its most re­cent NCAA tour­na­ment vic­tory. Pitt, for what it’s worth, is 12-11 af­ter reach­ing at least 20 wins in 12 of the past 13 sea­sons.

STOCK UP

Syra­cuse’s NCAA tour­na­ment port­fo­lio leaves a lot to be de­sired. It is 1-7 in games not played in the Car­rier Dome. That 33-point loss at home to St. John’s should merit an au­to­matic dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion. But the Orange’s cur­rent streak of four straight wins, three of them against teams in the RPI top 35, is a huge boost con­sid­er­ing the over­all weak­ness of the bub­ble. Now, if Syra­cuse can’t win some­thing on the road — and the next two games are at Clem­son and at Pitt — for­get any­thing was ever said about the Orange in this space.

STOCK DOWN

Syra­cuse, don’t turn into Ge­or­gia Tech. The Yel­low Jack­ets got two nice home wins in a row (over Notre Dame and Florida State), and peo­ple could be­gin to over­look their not-so­great record and that they couldn’t beat Ohio at home or get within 50 points of Duke. Then they spit the bit in their next two games, in­clud­ing Satur­day at Wake For­est, to fall to 2-7 on the road.

BO RADER/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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