Much like the Butler Bulldogs, the Creighton Bluejays were not part of the Big East Conference in the early part of the new millennium. Instead, they were members of the Missouri Valley Conference, which most notably features the Wichita State Shockers, as well as the Northern Iowa Panthers and Bradley Braves.
If you are a Kansas Jayhawks fan, those last few words may have struck a nerve or two.
To find Creighton's best game of the 2000s, we have to travel back to March 2002. A time where "Ain't It Funny" by Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule was the top song in America; only a month removed from the New England Patriots' first Super Bowl Championship; when the Los Angeles Lakers were steadfast approaching a three-peat; and when WrestleMania was only about to celebrate its 18th edition.
It's March 15, 2002 and it's the first Friday of the NCAA Tournament. The Bluejays, a 12 seed in the Midwest Regional, was set to take on the No. 5 seeded Florida Gators, led by legendary head coach Billy Donovan. The site was the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. And little did those fans know that they would be in for a double overtime thriller in The Windy City.
Things did not start off well for the Jays, as Udonis Haslem and the Gators went out to a 38-31 lead at halftime. And for Creighton's Terrell Taylor, it was an abysmal start to the game as well, as he put up a goose egg in the first 20 minutes, going 0-for-6 from the field.
Taylor, as history reminds us, would wind up having the last laugh.
A native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, Taylor was the Missouri Valley Conference's Sixth Man of the Year that season. And he bounced back from his grotesque first half and had a stupendous showing onwards, going a ridiculous 8-of-10 from the three-point line in the second half. And Taylor wasn't doing it all, as he was assisted by the one and only Kyle Korver, who was spectacular in his own right that evening.
The score, and the game, was turned upside down as the Bluejays evened things up with the Gators to the tune of 38-31 at the end of the second half, sending this game into overtime.
The first five minutes were not enough to decide anything, and so these two teams headed into double overtime. And Taylor, channeling "His Airness," number, city and all, drilled a 3-pointer with under a second to go to send the Bluejays to the second round of The Big Dance, capping off your classic 5-12 upset.