No one likes stories without happy endings.The dragon should be slain every time, the damsel should never go without rescue, and Cinderella should always land her prince. Unless of course it’s NCAA basketball; then Cinderella rarely leaves smiling.
America may not like sad conclusions, but college hoops enthusiasts everywhere should learn not to bemoan a mid-major’s eventual season’s end, but to applaud the achievements of a team that no one expected to contend.
Although the Lady Frogs’ year closed on March 21 with an embarrassing defeat (82-48) at the hands of No. 3 seed Rutgers, bracketologists should not be vilifying the team because it lost by almost 40 points, but celebrating a season in which 13 women fought their way into the postseason in their first year as members of a deep conference.
Even before the 2005-2006 campaign began, sports writers and editors scoffed at the notion of TCU women’s basketball once again making a serious tournament push after the departure of center Sandora Irvin (an eventual third overall pick of the WNBA). That stance was only further solidified after the team stumbled out of the blocks, losing five of its first seven – and three of those five by more than 20 points.
But somehow, the players were able to right the ship and force their way into the postseason. Even during that temporary euphoria, however – as if the road couldn’t get anymore difficult to travel – the team’s leader in points, rebounds and assists was forced to take a leave of absence from the team.
Yet the Frogs still did not give in. Despite being substantial underdogs to No. 6 Texas A&M, the team dug in and shocked the Aggies with its tenacity and offensive efficiency. Even though the next game would be the end of the road, the Lady Frogs already far exceeded the expectations of the so-called experts.
So, what will next season bring?
Sports editor Travis Stewart for the editorial board