Looking back on it, I'm glad that I put UNLV on upset alert yesterday- but I should've just gone ahead and called my shot. The Frogs, led by Las Vegas native Hank Thorns' 32-point virtuoso performance, played like a team possessed coming back from down 18 to win by 5 in OT. While the lion's share of the heroics can be attributed to the aforementioned senior guard, Jim Christian got solid contributions from his entire roster as he bagged his biggest victory in his four years in Fort Worth.
Before last night, we were banking on the win against Virginia way back in November to buoy the Frogs' RPI enough to sneak them into some kind of postseason tournament. While a win over the Cavs is still a nice feather in the cap, UNLV was ranked #11 in the polls and had an RPI of #9 coming into Daniel-Meyer. Beating the Rebels instantly improved the Frogs' own RPI from #108 to #99, and the victory will continue to benefit TCU all season because I don't think UNLV will just be folding up shop after this.
This victory meant so much more than a few computer points as the Frogs chase a postseason berth this year, though. There have been so few bright spots for TCU men's basketball over the past decade, and fan apathy continued to grow even in this promising season. By all accounts, last night's smallish crowd was among the most lively and enthusiastic in recent memory. To become a perennially contending program, especially in the Big 12 starting next year, fans are going to have to show up in both quantity and quality for every game. Perhaps the drama of last night will help plant the seed of excitement surrounding TCU hoops.
With the win, the Frogs are now 15-10 on the season- giving them their largest win total since Jim Christian took over in 2008. Their next two games- Saturday against Boise and next Wednesday against Air Force- are against the current cellar-dwellers of the conference. They are both on the road, though, which has presented its own challenges for the Frogs this year.
For those of you that were entertaining your ladies at the Olive Garden last night, here are the highlights: