To properly tell the story of the 2012-13 Sweet 16 Kansas Jayhawks one must include one little loss to the little team that couldnt TCU 62, Kansas 55.Those crop circles make more sense.The game will forever be remembered as one of the biggest upsets in the history of college basketball. It could also go down as one of its ugliest.We beat the No. 5 team in the nation; I dont think TCU had ever done that, TCU senior Garlon Green said Wednesday. It was the fact that it was Kansas and the basketball capital of the world that made it pretty special.This NCAA Tournament will forever be defined by 15th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast reaching the Sweet 16, but this seasons biggest upset will remain TCU over No. 5 KU.The irony is that another impressive season from Kansas will include one of the most unbelievable losses in the history of the program and easily the biggest win for TCU.On that night, KU looked nothing like the No. 1 seed that it earned and the team that will play No. 4 Michigan on Friday in the South Regional at Cowboys Stadium.Im happy for the kids that were on this team because that was something they will remember, because [Kansas] has a chance to win it all, TCU coach Trent Johnson said Wednesday morning. It was pretty impressive considering what we had.An already overmatched TCU was missing its best two players to season-ending injuries while Kansas featured a lineup with at least two 2013 NBA first-round picks in guard Ben McLemore and center Jeff Withey. TCU featured maybe one player, guard Kyan Anderson, that Kansas would take.By now pretty much all of TCU and a great part of Fort Worth have claimed they were inside Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on that Feb. 6 evening. The actual attendance was 7,412.Some of the numbers and facts from that game look like the writings of L. Ron Hubbard:• KU didnt score until 12:42 of the first half. TCU led 8-2 at that point.• TCU led 10-2 with 6:36 remaining in the first half.• KU made three first-half field goals, which prompted KU head coach Bill Self to quip after the game: I like how in the first half we had three assists on our three field goals; we really shared it.• TCU missed 16 free throws.• TCU never trailed.About 45 minutes after TCU students cleared the arena following their on-court celebration, Self said: It was the worst team that Kansas ever put on the floor, since Dr. Naismith was there. I think he had some bad teams when he lost to Topeka YMCA and things like that in the first couple years.Selfs crack, and specifically this game, have since become constants for any national TV telecast of a Kansas game.On that night, Kansas looked weak, soft, vulnerable and like a team that did not have enough to make much of a dent in the NCAA Tournament. This looked like one of those nice Roy Williams teams that won a lot of games but simply did not have enough. On that night, KU looked like a team destined to lose before the Sweet 16.Kansas lost the following game at Oklahoma for its first three-game losing streak since 2005.It is not a coincidence that since then they have won 12 of 13, and begun the normal process of progression and development that have defined KU under Self.You go through stretches where your team isnt playing to your standards, Johnson said. For me, it was my first time through the league and maybe theyre not playing on all cylinders.It would be wrong to say TCU did not earn that win or that KU quit. The Jayhawks tried, but they were defended well and missed shots of every variety: 3-pointers, runners, post-ups, short jumpers, layups, putbacks, dunks. Nothing dropped.The Horned Frogs got into KU from the opening tip and their desire was obvious. The crowd, which for much of the game was decidedly pro-Kansas, eventually sounded like a support system for TCU.TCU made shots and took advantage of some weird bounces and horrid shooting by Kansas. With 10 minutes remaining, the belief was tangible.The longer we hung around, the kids, in general, believed we can win, Johnson said. As a head coach, you have to be realistic. I knew for a fact that it was going to be tough for us, but the longer that game went you could begin to feel it.Immediately after the game, TCU became national news. It pulled off one of the biggest regular-season upsets ever, while mighty Kansas was finally broken.Turns out KU wasnt broken, but nothing will ever take away that night to the people who attended and played the game.My phone blew up. It was like, Wow. I cant believe one game can do this for you, Green said. I will always look back on it with a smile on my face. It was a pretty fun night.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7697 Twitter: @macengelprof