Before we get started with un-clutch moments 5-1 at lunch time, here's a little something to whet the ol' appetite. For the record, this one didn't make the cut because the win probability lost wasn't quite high enough and it was more a series of ghastly failures than a single moment to tattoo on your mind as you tried and failed to get to sleep that night.
Xavier was flying high, coming off of a 17-point beatdown of Georgetown to start the Big East season with a 10-3 (1-0) record. The Thanksgiving holiday was a blip in the rearview and Xavier's three losses had come by a total of eight points. X surrendered a barrage of threes in this game, but they were nip and tuck the whole way. Even trailing by two with 39 seconds left didn't feel too bad because (1) the Muskies had the ball and (2) come on, it's DePaul
A 0-4 possession beginning with 39 seconds remaining, -24% win probability. After Aaron Simpson made two FT to put DePaul up, Dee Davis came down and missed a jumper. No big deal, because he got his own board and lofted a three towards the tin. The fact that it missed was also less than optimal, but Trevon Bluiett grabbed the board. His stickback attempt was blocked out of bounds by Tommy Hamilton IV, giving Xavier a chance to draw up a play. The play ended with Myles Davis shooting a little jumper, which was also missed courtesy of a Tommy Hamilton IV block. Billy Garrett, Jr. finally put the possession out of its misery with a defensive rebound.
Garrett, Jr. hit both of his free throws and that was pretty much the game. Given four chances to tie the game against DePaul, you'd back Xavier to convert on at least one of them. To have all four go begging and end up grabbing a loss to a team anticipated as the doormat of the league was a horrible result for X. This game also really highlighted a couple of issues that would plague the team most of the year, namely porous three-point defense and poor showings on the road.
What we said at the time:
"[Dee] missed three shots in the final minute of the game where a neutral observer may have wondered why he was trying to take it over instead of feeding his teammates. Dee has always been a mixed package on offense, but you would have hoped to see the decision making be a little more productive in his senior year."
"By the time the offense warmed up, the defense went to bed, as a DePaul team that started 1-7 from behind the arc finished on a 9-13 stretch from deep."