It's so unbelievable that I had to slap myself this morning to make sure I didn't dream it. I sprinted to the computer to check ESPN, Rock Chalk Talk and see if we (@FrogsOWar) were still in Twitter jail (we aren't, phew).
It's so unbelievable that we're writing about it twice.
The TCU Men's Basketball team did the unthinkable last night. They beat the #5 Kansas Jayhawks. In basketball.
That needs to be stated, and then contemplated, for a good long while so it sinks in.
We. Beat. Kansas.
Sure, it was just a regular season game in February. Sure, TCU is still only 10-12 on the season and 1-8 in Big 12 play. Sure, Kansas fans, you still have those Big 12 and National Championships that you were quick to point to last night. But that's what makes it so incredible. TCU had no right to be in that game. None.
Now, I've done my fair share of bashing this team so far this year. they've been horribly inconsistent on offense, and their rebounding skills are essentially non-existent. But I've been clear when I said that this team has never given up. They always play hard, to the final whistle, no matter the deficit.
That's something to hang your hat on, and last night, it got them a win.
Kansas came out flat. There's no denying that. No amount of good defense and boxing out could force a team that good into starting the game 1-17 from the floor. So sure, Kansas, you played horribly.
But let's give the Frogs some credit. Devonta Abron and Adrick McKinney were men possessed down low. Constantly attacking Jeff Whithey (who I kept calling Whitney last night on twitter, sorry about that) and attacking the boards and generally assuming a "screw you, Kansas, come and beat us." attitude.
Garlon Green played like a man possessed, scrapping on defense and absolutely punishing the Jayhawks on offense. Okay, that last part was an overstatement but you get my point. He dropped 20, including an and-1 late that extended the Frogs' lead back to nine, and all but assuring TCU could ride out a late onslaught from a desperate Kansas crew.
And then, after a last desperation three fell by the wayside, TCU students, so desperate for good basketball, came clamoring over the railings that kept them in their seats and onto the court, where they celebrated with the team.
I'm still not sure who was more stunned, TCU or Kansas. I suppose it doesn't really matter.
I'm so dumbfounded I have no idea where to begin. People will say that this was a down year for Kansas or that the Jayhawks were overrated coming into the game. That may be, but this is still the same Kansas team that went to Ohio State and beat the Buckeyes at home- Ohio State's only home loss, the same Kansas team that has already won at Kansas State- the team tied with them at the top of the Big 12 standings.
This was a darn good Kansas team that TCU beat on Wednesday night, and yet... the Frogs didn't have an otherworldly game to do it. There was no huge rebounding edge, no uncharacteristically huge shooting percentage- TCU played on offense exactly like we've seen them play all year. They shot a poor percentage, they missed a lot of free throws, they didn't hit very many threes... and yet last night all that meant was that TCU didn't blow Kansas out. The TCU defense frustrated the Jayhawks, forcing the Kansas crew into taking shots that they weren't comfortable with and holding the Jayhawks to an even worse percentage than the Frogs put up, and that was the difference. And that makes it all the sweeter.
TCU is not a good offensive team, so if the Frogs had put up insane shooting numbers against the Jayhawks and managed to hold them off by shooting 65% that would have been fun, but it wouldn't be proof that the Trent Johnson system is going to work here. We've seen more than enough from the Frogs this season to know that they don't have the talent to win shootouts- that's not to say they won't in the future, but with this year's roster it isn't happening. What happened last night, however, was the kind of performance that is duplicable- the Frogs can play great defense every night, and if they can do that in year one then that's something they'll be able to do in year two, year three, every year of the hopefully long Trent Johnson era.
This is a win that shows that what we have right here has a chance to do something special- and that's the most exciting thing that I've been able to say about TCU basketball in my lifetime.
I love basketball... It was my final sport, after I mistakenly gave up baseball. In the last few years, I have grown to love Baseball more, but I rarely miss a TCU Basketball game.
Tonight was no different, I planned to watch the game all day... I almost decided not to, but I did.
Here is my analysis: TCU didn't play that well, just a little better than normal. Kansas was awful, just awful.
That equation allowed for the biggest upset in college basketball in... 20 years? More? Who cares.
It is hard to react due to the bad that STILL IS TCU BASKETBALL, but I will look at it from this way: TCU fought from the start, they hustled, they hit more free throws throughout the entire game until the two minute mark than they have all year, and Garlon Green remembered he was a man. Charles Hill is also owed a shoutout, as he kept shooting even after three early air balls, and got at least a couple shots to go that helped TCU in the momentum category.
But really, Charles, get your shit together.
As the only Frogs O' War writer who currently lives in Kansas, I plan on rubbing this in all over the office this morning, the Jayhawk tears will be sweet. But, let's not forget, TCU won a couple of upsets last year and it did nothing for recruiting or TCU. This game could be something, or it could be nothing, it is up to Coach Johnson to make it happen.
Enjoy it. Rewatch it. Get ready for Baseball season