In a matchup of two of college basketball’s top 25, Villanova visited Creighton with a chance to avenge their only Big East loss of the season. The game seemed like it took place about a month too early. It had the feel, intensity and play of an NCAA tournament game instead of a conference contest between the two teams.
The first half was highlighted by a three-point shooting display, contributed to by each of the teams. It saw both teams shooting over 50 percent from behind the arc and at times trading long distance shots from end to end. However, it also saw Creighton jump out to a huge lead and post the largest halftime deficit that Villanova has seen all season, at 13 points.
In the second half, the Bluejays continued to build on the lead and the frustration began to set in for Villanova as the lead was extended out of reach. With the victory, Creighton made a statement that it is for real, and the matchup problems it creates on the offensive end of the floor are something that will be hard for any team to deal with.
The story of the night was Doug McDermott. Stealing the spotlight right from the beginning, McDermott posted 22 first half points, en route to 39 for the game. He shot an unbelievable 75 percent from the field and in doing so passed Larry Bird on the all-time collegiate scoring list. He now has eyes set on Tyler Hansbrough who is next on the list and within a reachable margin.
The win puts Creighton atop the Big East, passing Villanova who will surely see some downward movement in the college rankings come Monday. It marked the second time this season that the Bluejays beat the Wildcats and the first time they’ve beaten two top 10 teams in one season. Now, both teams will look ahead to the conference tournament and another possible encounter, with higher stakes.