By Jeff Wilson
Frogs Today senior writer
FORT WORTH — Now, the real work begins.
The TCU men’s basketball team didn’t come all this way, upsetting three ranked opponents in its final six games, to just be content with making it to the NCAA Tournament.
The Horned Frogs, seeded ninth in the South Region, have a chance to make through the first weekend and into the Sweet 16.
First, of course, they have to beat No. 8-seeded Seton Hall on Friday in San Diego. Then, it will very likely take another upset of another top-10 team, top-seeded Arizona, to extend the season into next week.
It won’t be easy, at all, but the possibility shouldn’t be dismissed.
To get there, though, the Frogs need to get healthy.
They all do, as no player anywhere is at full-strength this time of the year.
More than the others, though, all of Mike Miles Jr.’s ailing body parts need to feel better. They won’t get to 100%, but the ability to run without a limp and to catch a pass without a grimace would be nice.
Eddie Lampkin Jr., who hurt his foot at the Big 12 tournament, also needs to mend.
(Maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t the worst thing in the world that TCU didn’t make it to the Big 12 tournament finals.)
Think about this: TCU hasn’t been at full-strength all season but especially not in conference play. It started with a COVID outbreak, then guards Shahada Wells (knee) and Maxwell Evans (shoulder) had to redshirt because of injuries, and Miles injured his left wrist in the delayed opener and later missed two games after aggravating it.
Those are the maladies that have been reported.
The Frogs’ guards, especially Miles and Damion Baugh, have had to play more minutes than coach Jamie Dixon would prefer.
Those minutes aren’t going to be cut now.
The real work is about to begin.
Rifle team bags national title
The TCU rifle team showed once again that it is one of the best programs in the country, finishing second overall to defending national champion Kentucky over the weekend and capturing the national championship in the air rifle discipline.
The title is TCU’s fourth in program history, as is the runner-up finish (2016, 2017, 2021).
The Frogs finished third Friday in the smallbore competition, but produced three of the top 10 air rifle scores Saturday and saw all five shooters have strong showings in the relays. Stephanie Grundsoee led the way with a 598.
TCU placed four in the top 10 overall. Kristen Hemphill finished fourth, Grundsoee sixth, Abigail Gordon seventh and Stephanie Allan 10th.
Queens of the beach
Don’t look now — actually, do look — the TCU beach volleyball team is putting the rest of the country on notice.
The Frogs are ranked third in the country at 15-0, and are coming off a weekend sweep at the Outrigger Queen’s Cup championship in Hawaii.
TCU won six times, two matches a day from Thursday to Saturday, and toppled three top-10 opponents (No. 9 Hawaii and No. 10 Cal twice). TCU lost only five of the 30 games played in the six matches.
“This was a long weekend, the girls just killed it,” coach Hector Gutierrez said at gofrogs.com. “It was a really good level of volleyball for three days. Everyone here was going after us, but we were just better.”
The Frogs return to action this weekend in Fort Worth, with doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday.
Watch to watch this week
There’s one very obvious event to watch, in person for all you spring-breakers, and who doesn’t love San Diego this time of the year? Anytime of year, really. But don’t lose track of all the other sports doing their things this week.
Baseball: vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 6 p.m. Tuesday; at Baylor, 6:30 p.m. Friday; at Baylor, 3 p.m. Saturday; at Baylor, 1 p.m. Sunday
Men’s basketball: NCAA Tournament, vs. Seton Hall, 8:57 p.m. Friday, San Diego; Sunday, TBD
Beach volleyball: vs. New Orleans, 11:30 a.m. Saturday; vs. Arizona State, 3:30 p.m. Saturday; vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 11:30 a.m. Sunday; vs. Louisiana-Monroe, 3:30 p.m. Sunday
Men’s golf: at Grand Canyon Invitational, Monday-Tuesday, Phoenix
Women’s golf: at Mountain View Invitational, Friday-Sunday, Tucson, Ariz.
Women’s swimming and diving: at NCAA Championships, Wednesday-Saturday, Atlanta
Men’s tennis: vs. South Florida, 3 p.m. Saturday
Women’s tennis: at Kansas, 5 p.m. Friday; at Kansas State, 1 p.m. Sunday
Track and field: TCU Invitational, Friday-Saturday
Horned frog smuggling: It’s somewhat surprising this isn’t a Florida Man story, but San Diego is near Tijuana. So …
Anyhoo, a traveler was caught by U.S. border agents near San Diego attempting to smuggle 52 reptiles in his clothing.
How would you like to be the agent on that patdown?
The story says that a 30-year-old man who was driving a truck was stopped for further inspection. He must have been wiggling and giggling from all the reptiles on his body, including in the “groin area.”
Though the man was arrested, it’s worth noting he was carrying 43 horned frogs. Maybe he made it his personal project to help bring back the horned frog population.
We shouldn’t pass judgment … yet.
Baby goat video: Anyone who follows my Texas Rangers Newsletter knows that I like funny videos of dogs. If I had to choose another animal to feature, it would definitely be baby goats, which are called kids. Here’s an example why:
Bad golf shots: I wonder how the next shot went after what I’m sure was a quick drop and some steam coming out of his ears.