Xavier was riding high early in the Big East season, coming off a strong non-conference campaign and a New Year's Eve win over Georgetown. DePaul was also undefeated in league play but just .500 overall, and the Muskies' opening road trip looked like a golden chance to take the conference record to 2-0. Xavier raced out to an early lead and it looked like all would be well in Chicago. Then, as so often occurred last year, X gave up a barrage of threes that let their opponent back into the game. Xavier's lead had disappeared by halftime, and the Blue Demons' merciless pounding from deep - they finished 10-20 from behind the arc - left Xavier chasing the game with less than a minute remaining.
Trevon Bluiett made 3 with 42 seconds remaining, +26% win probability. Bluiett had actually missed a three earlier that possession, but an offensive rebound by Matt Stainbrook kept the chance alive for Xavier. The ball rotated for 27 seconds before finding its way to Trevon, who made no mistake the second time around and tied the game at 66.
Aaron Simpson hit a couple of FT for DePaul in their next possession, then Xavier had that 0-4 trip down the floor that we have already discussed in this series, leaving the Musketeers always a step behind down the stretch. They managed to close the final margin to a single possession, but their 71-68 loss to DePaul became a black mark on the tournament resume.
What we said at the time:
"It was [Trevon's] shooting at clutch times that kept Xavier in the game late."