From the opening tip off, Creighton appeared to be in a different galaxy than Baylor. But unlike many other times this season, it was Creighton that was on the short end of the stick.
A powerful display from all ranges of the floor and a dynamic defensive performance later, and the Creighton Bluejays were unceremoniously thrusted out of the NCAA Tournament at the hands of the Baylor Bears by the score of 85-55. Creighton's "dream season" finished out at 27-8, and led to the Bears traveling to Anaheim for the West Regional Semifinals against the 2-seed Wisconsin Badgers.
Baylor's defensive performance stifled and frustrated the Jays right out of the gates. And offensively, it was not any different. Baylor rained down three-pointer after three-pointer, as it looked as if Creighton had picked their poison: letting the Bears do what they want in order to keep the bigs quiet. But unfortunately, they could not do much in that department either, as Scott Drew's club sliced and diced their way all night from all areas of the floor.
The Bears finished the night shooting 63.8 percent from the field and collected a stellar 61.1 percentage from the perimeter.
It was a divisive performance for the Baylor offense as all five starters racked up double figure performances on the night. Isaiah Austin and Brady Heslip led the way with 17 apiece, while Kenny Chery and Cory Jefferson had 14 points apiece while Royce O'Neale rounded out the effort with 10 of his own.
The Bluejays let the Bears open up a can of you-know-what from the start, letting them build a 26-9 lead not even 12 minutes into the ball game. That lead was 20 at the half, and pushed even further going into the second half of play as well. Creighton's offense certainly improved considerably in the second half of play, but the defense could not pick up the slack as they simply could not get a stop when necessary.
It was a painful goodbye to the career of one of college basketball's greatest players, as Doug McDermott exits the NCAA as its fifth leading scorer of all time with 3,150 points. His 15 tonight was the 135th time that he scored in double figures, which is an NCAA record.
Point guard Austin Chatman gave Creighton fans, if it were somewhat possible, a glimmer of hope with his level of play in this game. The junior point guard attacked the rim several times and finished his night with 11 points and three rebounds.
In all, this was a tough, bitter pill to swallow for the Bluejays to end what is an historic era unlike any other we will ever see in Omaha again. It will be an interesting spring and summer at Creighton as the Doug McDermott Era has come to a close.
For Baylor, the season continues for them as they will take on Wisconsin in Anaheim on Thursday night.