TCU coach irked at Frogs' missteps after Miracle at Daniel-Meyer

Posted Thursday, Feb. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Biggest upset ever?

Jerry Palm, the NCAA Bracketology and RPI expert for CBSSports.com, said TCU's win is the biggest upset in the 20 years he's been tracking the numbers. KU's RPI was 6; TCU's 234. Here are some other notable upsets:

Santa Clara 64, Arizona 61, March 18, 1993: The Broncos were 18-10, unranked and seeded 15th in the NCAA Tournament. Behind freshman Steve Nash, they stunned the second-seeded and fifth-ranked Wildcats.

Arkansas-Little Rock 90, Notre Dame 83, March 14, 1986: No. 14 seed Arkansas-Little Rock shot 79 percent in the second half to defeat the 10th-ranked Irish, which were 17-point favorites in the NCAA Tournament game.

Norfolk State 86, Missouri 84, March 15, 2012: The 15th-seeded Spartans, 21-point underdogs in the NCAA Tournament matchup, took advantage of their larger lineup against the undersized Tigers, which were coming off a Big 12 Tournament title.

Gardner-Webb 84, Kentucky 68, Nov. 7, 2007: In coach Billy Gillispie's second game as Kentucky head coach, the Wildcats fell behind 14-0 and never got closer than seven. Gardner-Webb had finished 9-21 the previous season.

Chaminade 77, No. 1 Virginia 72, Dec. 23, 1982: The 800-student NAIA school beat the No. 1 Cavaliers and 7-foot-4 center Ralph Sampson in the biggest upset in college basketball history. Virginia was coming off a victory against a Houston squad that would reach the NCAA title game. Chaminade had lost two days earlier to a 5-9 Wayland Baptist team, 64-61.

Biggest win in school history?

Yes, not even close. Here's a look at TCU's top five wins in the last 20 years:

Feb. 6, 2013, Shocks No. 5 Kansas: TCU never trailed en route to upsetting the Jayhawks, who hadn't lost consecutive games since 2006. It was the first time the Frogs had beaten a top-5 team.

Feb. 17, 2004, Upsets No. 10 Louisville: A 71-46 win over the Cardinals was the Frogs' first over a top-10 team in 14 years and the biggest win in coach Neil Dougherty's six years.

Feb. 14, 2012, Rallies past No. 11 UNLV: Hank Thorns' career-high 32 points helped TCU's furious second-half comeback after falling behind by 18. Thorns was 8 of 12 on 3-pointers as the Frogs won in overtime.

Feb. 25, 2012, Stuns No. 18 New Mexico: The Frogs followed up their win over UNLV nine days later with an equally impressive 83-64 win against the Lobos.

Feb. 21, 1998, Crushes No. 11 New Mexico: TCU's last NCAA Tournament team destroyed the Lobos 95-64 as Billy Tubbs' best team went 14-0 in the WAC. Alas, New Mexico avenged the loss in the WAC tournament.

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

TCU coach Trent Johnson was still hearing from friends across the country in calls, texts and emails late Thursday afternoon, a day after his Horned Frogs sent college basketball reeling with their upset of fifth-ranked Kansas at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

But Johnson, 56, had already moved on. He was on the road recruiting with his assistants at 6:30 Thursday morning, giving him a tidy three hours of sleep in the wake of TCU's biggest win.

While Johnson was excited for his team, he had also moved on because one of those messages he received was that some of his players had missed class Thursday, while a couple others had their cars towed or slapped with a boot.

"Did I think some of this stuff could happen today? No question," he said. "But when this program is where it needs to be and we're winning and competing at a high level consistently, I won't have to worry about this stuff. Today, I'm not very happy and that's just the way it is. Right now, this is a teaching point."

For Johnson, this is just the first step toward what he hopes to accomplish at TCU. And part of getting there, he said, is learning how to handle prosperity. Never mind the stunning upset, which according to CBSSports.com's Jerry Palm, was the biggest in 20 years. He tweeted: "In terms of RPI difference between the teams, TCU's win is the biggest upset in the 20 years I've been tracking numbers."

Forget 20 years; Johnson has already forgotten.

"We have to learn how to deal with success," Johnson said. "That's part of being mentally tough. It's all part of the process in terms of how you deal with prosperity. You can't win on the floor if you're not winning socially and academically. There's no way around that. And these guys have to deal with it."

But the coach and his players were thrilled with a DMC-record crowd of 7,412, which included a spirited 1,100-seat student section. That made the court-storming at the final buzzer even sweeter.

"Our football team has won a lot of games for this community, the baseball team has done really good, and we've been kind of on the low end of the athletic side," said Garlon Green, who led the Frogs with 20 points. "So it feels really good to know we've brought some kind of excitement and positive feeling and brought the TCU community together."

Several students told Green that Wednesday's upset was one of their most exciting moments at TCU. Johnson and his players want fans to know that, beginning with the Frogs' next game at 3 p.m. Saturday against West Virginia, their presence makes a difference.

"When they were down trying to score in the second half, I looked up, and I was like dang," Johnson said of the excitement coming from the student section at the south end of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. "They were like our sixth, seventh, eighth man. We need them. We need them more than ever, now, on Saturday afternoon. There's no way we get that done without the students."

And, according to Johnson, there's no way to keep having success without his players handling things "the right way."

"Every guy should have been in class, on time," he added. "Every guy should have had some sleep. I don't care if we beat the Lakers last night. I don't care, that's just the way it is. I'm not being negative, these are just cold, hard facts."

Stefan Stevenson

817-390-7760

Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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