I know you were there early in the season when the Horned Frogs went undefeated in non-conference. You packed Schollmaier Arena for a big win on Big Monday against then No. 7 West Virginia. There have been some special nights this season when your roars ricocheted all over the campus.
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To you older students and alumnus, the ones that remember the first few forgettable years in the Big 12 and those dark hoops days in the Mountain West: wake up. It's a new day and a new team.
The Horned Frogs (19-9, 7-8 in the Big 12) are on the cusp of their first NCAA tournament bid in 20 years. It's not a fluke. Jamie Dixon has returned to his alma mater and, thanks to some solid recruiting by former coach Trent Johnson, has a team holding its own in the toughest conference in the country.
"We have no limitations as far as the type of team we can become," said Dixon, who has tried to make his team realize how much better it can be while also reminding his players how good they already are. "I've maybe had higher aspirations or higher expectations than maybe they did."
He was talking about his players, but it goes for the student body, too.
Your rival from Waco will be here on campus for an 11 a.m. game Saturday morning. The athletic department is offering doughnuts to lure you out of bed. But you don't need a maple long john to get inspired to root for this team. Baylor (17-11, 7-8), which had won five straight before losing to West Virginia on Monday, lost in overtime to the Frogs at home on Jan. 2.
"Our student turnout, for the size of school, the numbers are very good. I’m impressed with them," Dixon said. "The teams are so good in the Big 12. The difference between first and last is very small. This league is unlike any I’ve ever been in. We don't feel like we've played [up to our potential]. We lose our point guard and people write us off."
The lesson, students, is don't view the Frogs' 7-8 Big 12 record as something embarrassing. Far from it. This isn't 7-8 in the Mountain West. TCU is one win from winning 20 games for the second consecutive season and they still have three regular-season games to play. The last time the Frogs did that was 1997-99 under Billy Tubbs. That '98 season was the last time TCU earned an NCAA berth.
Furthermore, the Frogs are likely returning to the tournament despite Jaylen Fisher's season-ending injury and playing with eight scholarship players. For a few weeks, they were even down to seven players.
Now they're healthy again and finish with Baylor, Kansas State and Texas Tech. There are no more opportunities for bad losses. The Frogs held off last-place Iowa State Wednesday night to nab their first win in Ames, Iowa, since 1982.
TCU is holding steady at No. 21 in the latest RPI rankings, No. 18 in the latest BPI (Basketball Power Index) rankings and 23rd best resume, according to ESPN's daily resume ratings. Those are NCAA tournament caliber numbers.
So get excited, TCU fans of all ages, you have a basketball team that has proven worthy of your full-throated support. With or without the doughnuts.
TCU vs. Baylor
11 a.m. Saturday, Schollmaier Arena
Big 12 Standings