Xavier came into the home game against Creighton on February 4th still looking for all the world like a team treading water. They were 14-8 and 5-5 in the conference, but it seemed like a visit from 10-13 (1-9) Creighton was more of a chance to pick up a perfunctory win than to do anything meaningful for the tournament resume. Then Ricky Kreklow (!) started raining threes and the Musketeers found themselves in a 10-point first half hole at home against a crummy team. Xavier battled all the way back and got up by as many as seven, but a lack of execution down the stretch on both ends sent the game into OT. Creighton made three-pointers off of offensive boards on their first two possessions of the extra period and X found itself down one with less than a minute left on the clock.
Matt Stainbrook missed jumper with 32 seconds remaining, -43% win probability. Having the ball with a chance to go ahead very late at home against a bad opponent is apparently a position that the computers love, because missing that opportunity took a huge chunk out of Xavier's chances. By the time Myles Davis was finally able to foul someone, there were only 16 seconds left on the clock and the game was functionally lost.
Xavier went missed jumper, turnover, turnover on their last three trips down the floor, sealing an embarrassing defeat at Cintas. The story of the game was, as ever, Xavier's inability to check a shooter who was playing the four. Ricky Kreklow went bananas from behind the arc and the Musketeers never made the adjustment necessary to shut him down. Creighton wasn't as bad a team as their record indicated, but they also weren't as good of a team as it should have taken to beat Xavier at home.
What we said at the time:
"The opportunity to win the game was there, but Xavier failed to take it."
"All the momentum of a good road win followed by an at least decent road performance was gone."