March Madness: TCU rallies, stuns Arizona State with game-winner in frantic final seconds

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No. 6 TCU was on the ropes on Friday.

But the Horned Frogs rallied late, then cruised to a 72–70 win over 11-seed State, capping a frantic final minute with the game winner in the final seconds of play.

TCU extended the lead to two points with 24 seconds left on All-Big 12 guard Miles Jr.’s free throw, 70–67. State’s DJ Horn responded with a 3-pointer at the other end to tie the game at 70–70 with 15.6 seconds remaining.

But TCU’s JaKobe Coles had the last word. After a TCU timeout, a floater went ahead in traffic with 1.5 seconds left to give TCU a 72–70 lead.

As time went on, State’s desperation mounted, and the Horned Frogs advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Sun Devils saw off their NCAA Tournament heartbreak after controlling most of the second half.

TCU took control early on and jumped out to a 13–2 lead in the first half. But State responded with a 15–4 run to tie the game 17–17 and went into halftime with a 44–37 ​​lead. The Sun Devils held the Horned Frogs at bay for most of the second half and led 62–54 with 5:26 remaining. That’s when TCU started its rally.

The Horned Frogs held onto ASU’s lead for the next few minutes, then tied the game at 67–67 with 1:52 remaining. Two Damien Baugh free throws with 34 seconds left gave TCU their first lead of the second half. Then came the frantic ending.

Miles led the TCU effort against State. (Michael Siaglo/Reuters)

Miles led the TCU effort with 26 points, four rebounds and three assists. He did the bulk of his damage at the free throw stripe, where he converted 12 of 14 attempts. His late lapse gave ASU an opportunity, but Coles made sure it didn’t cost the Horned Frogs.

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Horn was valiant in a 17-point effort for ASU that included a 4-of-5 night from beyond the 3-point arc. It wasn’t enough to defend a superior TCU team.

The Horned Frogs advance to the second round in the West Region, where they will face No. 3 Gonzaga on Sunday.