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

No. 6 TCU was on the ropes on Friday.

But the Horned Frogs mounted a late rally then secured a 72-70 win over 11-seed Arizona State, capping a frantic final minutes with a game winner in the final seconds.

TCU extended a two-point lead to 70-67 with 24 seconds left on a free throw from All-Big 12 guard Mike Miles Jr. But a miss on the front end of the double bonus left the door open for the Sun Devils. Arizona State's DJ Horne responded on the other end with a 3-pointer to tie the game at 70 with 15.6 seconds remaining.

But TCU's JaKobe Coles had the last word. After a TCU timeout, the sophomore forward sunk a floater in traffic with 1.5 seconds left to give TCU a 72-70 lead.

Arizona State's desperation heave as time ticked down missed the mark, and the Horned Frogs advanced to the NCAA tournament's second round. The Sun Devils watched their NCAA tournament end in heartbreak after controlling most of the second half.

TCU took the reins early, opening a 13-2 lead early in the first half. But Arizona State answered with a 15-4 run to tie the game at 17 and went into halftime with a 44-37 lead. The Sun Devils kept the Horned Frogs at bay for most of the second half and led 62-54 with 5:26 remaining. That's when TCU mounted its rally.

The Horned Frogs chipped away at the ASU lead for the next few minutes, then tied the game at 67 with 1:52 remaining. Two Damion Baugh free throws with 34 seconds left gave TCU its first lead of the second half. Then came the frantic finish.

Mar 17, 2023; Denver, CO, USA; TCU Horned Frogs guard Mike Miles Jr. (1) dunks during the first half against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ciaglo-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Miles led the TCU effort against Arizona State. (Michael Ciaglo/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 miss gave ASU a chance, but Coles ensured that it wouldn't cost the Horned Frogs.

Horne was valiant in a 17-point effort for ASU that included a 4-of-5 night from beyond the 3-point arc. It just wasn't quite enough to fend off a better TCU team.

The Horned Frogs advance to the second round in the West region, where they'll face No. 3 Gonzaga at 9:40 p.m. ET on Sunday.