It's been a season of firsts for the Frogs this year, as TCU started the season with their longest ever winning streak and climbed into the polls for the first time since... two conferences ago. The start of Big 12 play dampened some of TCU's mojo, but still the Frogs collected their first ever Big 12 road win, and then later on managed their first ever Big 12 winning streak with back to back wins. Tonight the Frogs fulfilled one of the last "firsts" of their Big 12 basketball lives, as TCU finally will be spending more than a single evening in Kansas City, knocking off the Wildcats is a harsh environment to claim their first ever win in the Big 12 tournament- but man, it was not easy.
The Wildcats started the game about as hot as you could be, 7-8 from the floor and just pouring in points, but the Frogs hung surprisingly tight, collecting rebounds and not letting the Cats get more than four points in front. Finally when the Cats started turning the ball over the Frogs pressed their advantage and ran out a huge 16-2 run that flipped the game on its head, and ensured that KSU would be the team doing the chasing in the second half. The story in the second half was of three huge runs, one by the Wildcats to cut the lead down to four, one by the Frogs to build the lead back up to 14, and then a huge push by the Wildcats toward the end that repeatedly cut the lead down to four- until with two minutes left in the game it was only two. However the Frogs would not let it get closer than that, switching to a 2-3 zone for just the second time all game and forcing consecutive misses, and with a bit of clutch free throw shooting from Trey Zeigler, the Frogs had the game won. Up next will be the Big 12 regular season champs, the Kansas Jayhawks, so not a lot of time to feel good about this one, but there's a whole lot to be proud of tonight.
A special shoutout to TCU's MVP of the game, Chris Washburn, who shot a fantastic 8-11 for 16 points and kept the Frogs in it while the Wildcats couldn't miss in the early going, and senior Kyan Anderson who took a lot of dumb threes- but made a surprising amount of them for 16 points of his own. And, of course, Zeigler did his usual aggressive play, contributing 15 points, including those two crucial free throws at the end. One more first step for the Frogs is in the book- let's see how much further they can go.