By Ray Cartwright
Frogs Today staff writer
FORT WORTH – Dust off the dancing shoes, TCU is back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016.
TCU received an at-large bid, and will take on the No. 8 seed, Washington, Friday at 4:30 p.m. in Madison, Wis.
This is only the fourth time in program history that TCU has made the NCAA Tournament, a major accomplishment for coach Jason Williams in just his first year leading the Frogs.
Joining TCU and Washington in the Madison Regional will be No. 1 seed Wisconsin, the defending national champions, and Quinnipiac.
Williams helped lead TCU ot a 16-10 record and an 11-5 mark in the Big 12 Conference, which is the best record by a TCU team since joining the Big 12.
TCU will be one of the Cinderella stories in the tournament after finishing last season 2-14 in conference play and picked to finish seventh overall this season.
“Super excited for this group, super excited for the university and super excited for the Frog fans,” Williams said. “For this senior group that hasn’t been able to experience this before, I’m just so excited for them.”
TCU heads into NCAA play on a tear, winning eight of its past 10 games including a top-10 win over Baylor.
The Frogs feel they are peaking at the right time heading into tournament play.
“Definitely, I think we finally have fallen into a couple of lineups that are working for us,” Williams said. “The Oklahoma sweep was sweet and showed we’re ready for NCAA play.”
The father-daughter duo of Williams and Callie Williams are no strangers to the NCAA Tournament. Jason coached in it in six of the seven years he was at an assistant Baylor, and Callie played in it all three years she was there. They can provide wisdom to the other Horned Frogs who haven’t been there on what to expect.
“The way we train, it doesn’t matter what the situation is,” Jason Williams said. “Even when we started with Wisconsin and Minnesota at the beginning of the year I told them, ‘This is what a tournament match will feel like.’ We just really worked in that mentality, and I will just build off of that.”
Callie Williams knows that feeling.
“The most important thing to remember is the tournament is hard,” she said. “Every single game will be a grind. If you want to make it far you have to be willing to put in that work, have to be willing to go out every single point, every single play. This is the end of the year, and nobody wants to be done. It’ll be tough, but it is a lot of fun.”
The theme for TCU this season has been to play like dragons, a mantra that has brought the team chemistry together as it heads into tournament play.
“The chemistry is at an all-time high for me,” senior Audrey Nalls said. “Everybody just has each others backs and are ready to take on any challenge.”
The Frogs will need to play like the dragons if they want to make a run in the NCAA Tournament.