Today is the day.
It’s been exactly 35 years and 6 days since Jamie Dixon led the Horned Frogs to their most recent NCAA Tournament victory, only then he was a player. Now, as a coach, Dixon’s group has a chance to cement their legacy in Horned Frog folklore forever.
I can’t exactly put into words how important this game is not only for the basketball program but for the university as a whole. As I assume many of you reading this are, I’ve been a Horned Frog for life, and I’m not sure if I could think of any other single basketball game as big as tonight’s matchup with Seton Hall is.
Is this game up there with the Rose Bowl? Is this up there with the four straight College World Series trips? Does this compare to an Elite 8 run by TCU Soccer? I’ll leave that for you to decide, but I think we can all agree tonight’s game is massive.
After arriving on Wednesday and having practice/shootaround on Thursday, the players stressed the importance of this game in Thursday’s press conference.
“Being with my team on selection Sunday, having that feeling that, damn, we really made this. We’re really going to be in the tournament against the best players,” said Emmanuel Miller. “To finally be able to showcase it [the team’s hard work] on the biggest stage in NCAA Basketball, with millions of people watching from back home, it’s a great feeling.”
Despite the magnitude of this game and widespread media attention on the Frogs, the team appears to be locked in like never before. If you haven’t seen Eddie’s Twitter by now, you’re missing out. The Frogs’ big man is nearly guaranteeing a big performance against the Pirates tonight, and I’m all for it.
I swear idk why they sleep on me tomorrow the world will know— Eddie Lampkin (@EddieLampkin25) March 17, 2022
Aside from the confidence on social media, this group is zoned in on the court.
“We are locked in right now,” said Mike Miles. “This is the biggest game of our life coming up. We’ve got to take it as serious as anything. That’s what we’re doing. We’re practicing hard, we’re scouting them hard. We want to go win the whole thing, but we can’t do it without beating Seton Hall.”
Other than the fact that simply being in March Madness is a big deal for the Frogs in of itself, another hot topic in Thursday’s presser was the Frogs’ lack of experience.
Not only is this just TCU’s second tournament appearance under Jamie Dixon, but a large majority of this squad has zero tournament experience. Aside from Micah Peavy who played for Texas Tech a year ago.
The way I see it, that’s just another chip on the Horned Frogs’ shoulder. This team filled with EIGHT transfer players has defied odds all season and played as a cohesive unit just as well as any other team in the tournament. This may be their first full season together, but the chemistry has been there all year.
When asked about his team’s lack of postseason experience, Jamie Dixon responded: “They’re not going to be scared or lack confidence. That much I’m very sure of.”
Although playing in the best basketball conference in the country prepares you for a lot, nothing compares to playing on this stage, no matter who is lining up against you. The Frogs' confidence will be put to the ultimate test tonight as they look to take down the tournament-regular Pirates in round 1.
The game will be broadcast on TruTV at 8:57 pm CST, or whenever the Arizona vs Wright State game finishes up. It’s the last game of the first round, so all eyes will be on the Frogs. Let’s go make history!