TCU's seniors had never experienced what it's like to be a part of a court storming victory by TCU. There have been wins over the past four years, of course, but none that were so unexpected, or so important to a program that the die hard TCU basketball fans have stormed the court over. UNLV came into Fort Worth with a tie for the MWC lead, a well-earned top 11 ranking and more swagger than Chris Del Conte coming into a press conference to announce TCU's move to the Big 12. They put together a five point lead at the half and quickly widened their lead to 18 in the opening minutes of the second quarter, evoking my memories of the USC game earlier this season. However, unlike the USC game, this game was at home, and TCU has decided that it's done being rolled on its home court and fought back, knocking 15 points off the rebel lead in the next five minutes and having a chance to win outright on the last possession of regulation, only to put the boot to the running rebels in OT. Special kudos to seniors Hank Thorns for going an unreal 8-12 for three and J.R. Cadot for collecting a beastly 12 rebounds against a strong UNLV frontcourt. This is a huge win for the frogs for many reasons- it assures the frogs of a .500 or better finish for the regular season, keeps us nominally alive(!) in the conference championship hunt, virtually assures coach Jim Christian of another season as head coach, and perhaps most importantly takes us to 12-3 at home (we've won eight in a row at home, and are undefeated at home in conference play). This is the most important area to me, because right now we still aren't a school that cares a tremendous amount about basketball- a decade of mediocrity and spotty play will do that, and coincided with the football team's third golden age it's really easy to forget about TCU basketball. What we need to do in order to build up our basketball fanbase again is what we're doing this very season: win your home games. We aren't going to win all of our home games every season (with teams like Kansas in the Big 12 that would be an amazing feat), but if we're in every home game, and have a chance to win every home game, the fans will come out and see it. The fact that we're joining the Big 12 a year before SMU gets into the Big East helps us as well, as it gives us a chance to establish ourselves as the place to see top tier college basketball in the metroplex. And if our beloved Dallas Mavericks have shown us anything, it's that people in the metroplex will come out in force to see a good basketball team- this is step one into making TCU into one of those.
Now don't blow it against Boise State on Saturday, okay?