Creighton took the No. 4 Villanova Wildcats all the way to the buzzer Tuesday night in Omaha. Creighton led for much of the first half and after the Wildcats took a second half lead of 11, the Bluejays came back to take a one-point lead before surrendering a Ryan Arcidiacono layup plus the foul. Chatman hit a three with just over six seconds remaining, pulling the Jays within two. Arcidiacono then committed an offensive foul, giving the Jays the ball with a chance to tie or win the game. It wasn't to be though as center Will Artino's runner missed. Here are three things to take away from last night's close game:
1. Villanova can beat you in many ways
On a night when star player Darrun Hilliard was held to just seven points on 2-for-10 shooting, guard Ryan Arcidiacano stepped up and hit big shot after big shot. Arcidiacano finished with 23 points on 50 percent shooting and most importantly, Arch was money from the charity stripe, going 10-for-12.
Junior guard Dylan Ennis was also a major contributor. Ennis hit big 3-pointers to give the Wildcats the lead early in the second half. Ennis finished with 19 points on 6-for-13 shooting. The Wildcats also limited the Creighton offense in the second half during stretches, allowing them to overtake the Jays. This Villanova team will be tough for any team in college basketball to beat because they are so well-rounded.
2. Creighton continues to get their hearts ripped out
The loss to Villanova is just one of many losses where the Bluejays had a chance to win. The game was Creighton's eighth that was decided in the final minute. The losses have come any way you could imagine them. Creighton has given up desperation, miracle 3-pointers from guards Matt Carlino of Marquette and Sterling Gibbs of Seton Hall. They have had leads against Butler with a minute left, only to squander the chance to win, twice. They've had final possession defensive lapses and multiple near misses on offense in games like at North Texas, at Seton Hall and now against Villanova. The amazing thing is that this Creighton team continues to fight and come this close so many times. It's been a season full of "what if's" for Creighton.
3. The officials angered both coaches
The game was chippy as both teams committed over 20 fouls each. The game also contained two technical fouls. One against Creighton's Greg McDermott and one against Villanova's Jay Wright. Both coaches were contesting calls made by the officials throughout the game. After the game, Creighton's McDermott admitted he did not swear to earn his technical. The controversies last night in the game came the same night Butler's Alex Barlow was fouled by the air on a three-point attempt. We'll see if the debate over the officials continues come the conference tournament next week.