It was a miracle.
In a philosophical sense it was simply an aberration from the norm.
With .8 seconds remaining Creighton had the ball under Marquette’s goal. They were up 85-82. All they had to do was simply touch the ball. Just touch it. Make contact with it. Have some time tick off the clock, even if it ended in a Marquette possession.
Markus Howard already had 39 points. If Martin Krampelj had simply touched the ball with some part of his body Markus Howard would’ve had 39 points in the final box score. If Connor Cashaw had thrown the ball into a body in front of him, Markus Howard likely would’ve finished with 39 points.
It’s sort of like throwing a dice to decide who gets the pizza, except it’s a 50-sided die and there’s only two scenarios in which this ends poorly for Creighton. One scenario is where they throw it out of bounds to give the ball back to Marquette under their own basket, who proceeds to in-bound it, hit a game-tying three, and get fouled on the play, sinking the free throw, and walking away in regulation.
The other is where Creighton throws it out of bounds to give the ball back to Marquette under their own basket, who proceeds to in-bound it to Sam Hauser, who hits a game-tying three in regulation (or not) and the game goes to overtime with Markus Howard playing for their team.
Ha, yeah right. Right?
I don’t know how to properly encapsulate this game. I really don’t. It was beautiful to watch. It was mesmerizing to witness Markus Howard, who’d been hyped up so much, who got hurt in his trip to Omaha last year, who has been the talk of the BIG EAST town since Rowsey left his side and gave him sole possession of this Marquette offense.
It was stupendous to watch him operate. It’s like watching a simulation of how a guard should play basketball on offense. He had Davion Mintz draped all over him all game, yet ran headlong past screens to shake the vaunted defender. It wasn’t that Mintz was a step too slow, it’s that Howard is that fast. Lightning quick. A blur of blue and gold trying his damndest to shake free of his defender. He did it over and over and over. Mintz bodied him, Howard would push off, step back, and drain a three. Mintz put a hand in his face, Howard simply shot over it, blinded. Mintz would tip a portion of Howard’s shot and the ball would awkwardly tumble through the air and through the hoop.
That was Marquette’s offense tonight. All night. It was all Markus all the time.
Creighton’s offense looked electric. It was sharp, fast. The lousy mistakes they’d made in the past seemingly disappearing into the void. The crispness of their passes snapping into one another’s hands like a bolt of lightning rattling across the sky in the prairie. There was just a little extra.
Coming off a loss to Butler these Bluejays needed a win. They played themselves into a winning position while trying to outpace The Flash. Martin Krampelj played out of his god damned mind, even stroking 13 freethrow shots with 14 attempts to do so, and fought valiantly in the post. His high ball screens were uber-effective and opened up driving lanes that a highly intoxicated elephant could breeze through.
Davion Mintz and Ty-Shon Alexander were joys to watch as they nailed threes from all around the court. Mitch Ballock buried a trey from the beak of the Bluejay at half court. The guard play was stupid fucking good on the offensive side.
I was glad to see Matt Heldt out there playing ball. I’ve never really understood Marquette’s love for the guy but now I understand it. He’s the burning redwood in a field of corn. He’s the can of budweiser in the sober house. He’s the banana laffy taffy in a bowl of dirty hypodermic needles. It’s just goofy to see him. It makes me chuckle.
When Sam Hauser hit his first three of the night at the jumpstart of the ballgame I thought for sure he was going to have a career night. His high-arcing rainbow shot floats anxiously through the air like a mortar shell headed towards a Terrorist House that happens to be next to a hospital for cool celebs. You want it desperately to hit the Terrorist House but you have no idea what its trajectory is until it begins to sink towards the hoop. He hit his first, hit a few more, and then cooled off, saving his rainbows for the ultimate pot of gold.
John Cahill, the BIG EAST head of officiating, sat next to me on press row. He remarked on how good Marcus Zegarowski was going to be in the next few years. It’s hard to disagree.
This game was magic. Wojo even mentioned Markus Howard being magic in the post game.
Creighton had a five point lead with a second left. Then a three point lead with eight tenths of a seconds left.
They lost in overtime.
Markus Howard scored the first eleven points in the overtime period for his Golden Eagles and the Bluejays strained to keep up. It was like trying to put a two foot wide harness on a loose bull. Marquette put up 21 points while Creighton put up 19 in the extra period.
This was the greatest high I’ve ever achieved. For the first time in my life I played live witness to an event that’ll live in infamy. It’ll live in infamy because Creighton couldn’t touch a basketball. It’ll live in infamy because Sam Hauser hit an impossible shot on an excellent in-bound pass from Markus Howard. It’ll live in infamy because it’s a BIG EAST game that should be replayed on ESPNClassic every night from 11pm-2am for the rest of our lives, but it won’t because it was on CBS Sports Net and ESPN hates the BIG EAST.
It was an incredible game.
That’s all it was.
One in a million opportunity and Marquette seized on it.
To the Creighton fans that have sour grapes about this game, I warrant you to reflect on your expectations of this season. Simply reflect. Remind yourself of the youth of this program. Forget about the foibles and the bullshit and the forgetting to touch a basketball or any of that nonsense. Forget it because it’s fucking stupid to feel bad about this. It really is.
Because what you witnessed tonight was an act of God. There was a Marquette fan that really needed this one that prayed at the right time and God said, “fuck it, why not?”
MY PLAY BY PLAY FOR SOME REASON, LEAVING IT IN HERE BECAUSE WHY THE FUCK NOT?
Ty-Shon opens the scoring, jumper in the lane
Theo John block on Krampelj steal, Mintz cleans up with lay-up
Sam Hauser rainbow three from way deep
Martin Krampelj makes two free throws???
Mintz three from the corner, 9-5 lead at 16:28. Howard double dribble.
Broken play ends up with Ballock open three from the corner, 12-5
Miss on drive by Hauser from top of the key; offensive rebound to Anim, missed three, carry violation on Jefferson on ensuing defensive board.
Ed Morrow draws offensive foul on illegal screen
Davion Mintz scores
Martin Krampelj bangs down low, scores over Joey Hauser
Mintz with wide open three in the corner. HOT. 13:14 left, 10 points on 4-4 shooting. This coming off a three from Markus Howard
Mintz gets lost in sea of screens, Howard bangs an open three and gets fouled by Kaleb Joseph. 19-13, 11:58 left.
Kaleb Joseph spinning in the lane on one-on-one with Howard, scores.
Kaleb Joseph bangs a three off a defensive rebound on Howard miss. Timeout Marquette, 10:59, 24-13 lead.
Out of bounds on Jamal Cain.
Sam Hauser bangs a three.
Samson Froling hits a finger roll in the lane.
Kaleb Joseph hits stepback two from the elbow.
Howard miss, Ty-Shon fastbreak leads to foul. 28-16, 8:46 left, makes one, misses the other.
Joey Hauser bangs a three. 8:21
Ty-Shon Alexander answers on the other end with a three.
Markus Howard bangs a three to answer AGAIN 32-22 7:50
Zegarowski missed shot in the lane, looked to be fouled
Ed Morrow hits shot down low.
Krampelj to the line, Morrow’s second foul, 6:49 left, 32-24.
Krampelj makes both, 4-4 from the free throw line so far.
Brendan Bailey hits jumper in the lane.
Mitch Ballock bangs three, assist to Kaleb Joseph 37-26 5:58
Joey Hauser bangs a three.
Mitch Ballock bangs a three from the logo at half court. 40-29.
Kaleb Joseph misses short jumper, fouls Markus Howard on the other end.
Markus Howard draws foul on Samson Froling. Makes both. 40-31 4:01
Ty-Shon Alexander draws foul on Matt Heldt. Misses the front end, makes the second. 41-31.
Markus Howard hits push off step back from the elbow. 41-33 3:27.
Markus Howard hits step back, guarded by Ballock. 41-35 2:50.
Miss by Krampelj, rebound to Sam Hauser. Howard called for a double dribble.
3 pt miss by Anim, rebound Ty-Shon, Damien Jefferson drive and foul. Makes the front end. Misses the second. 42-35 1:10.
Howard fouled on drive by Ballock - his second. 54.6 left. Howard makes both. 42-37.
Ty-Shon called for a travel.
Howard fouled by Jefferson, makes both, 42-39 18.3 seconds left.
Zeggy bangs a three to end the half. 45-39.
Missed floater by Mintz, offensive rebound Krampelj, missed three by Ballock
Hauser answers, scores two in the paint on a lay up.
Damien Jefferson exits with a hamstring injury. 19:00 2nd half.
Krampelj scores over a double team down low.
Zegarowski fouls Anim, 2nd foul. 18:05 47-42 Anim misses first, makes second.
Markus Howard hits three over Davion Mintz tough defense. 47-45. - 22pts for Howard
Anim fouls Krampelj.
Zeggy bangs a three from the top of the key off a screen. Anim scores easily in paint on the other end. 50-47.
Mintz fouls Morrow under the basket for his 2nd foul. Timeout. 50-47 15:48.
Morrow makes both.
Huge rejection by Morrow on Mintz
Ty-Shon gets ball on out of bounds, bangs three.
Ty-Shon nails floater over Howard. 55-49. crowd erupts.
Anim hits backdoor cut, scores at tin.
Krampelj draws foul on Joey Hauser.
Passing has been crisp, bodies flying all over the court. Connor Cashaw checks in for the first time in the game. Offense is cooking for Creighton.
Krampelj makes both free throws. 6-6 from the line. 57-51.
Step back three for Howard. 25 points. Broke Mintz’s ankles.
Zeggy bangs a three in return. 60-54. 12:40
Mintz forces Howard out of bounds; lost ball.
Ty-Shon misses lay-up on strong drive; Howard travels on the other end. Media timeout. 11:50, 60-54.
Zegarowski hard to the tin on screen by Krameplj, scores on lay-up in traffic.
Howard returns the favor, floater at the rim.
Steal for Chartouny, to the rack. 62-58 10:30
Turnover by Joseph trying to hit Ballock on a backdoor cut.
Ballock bangs three off turnover by Marquette. 65-58. 9:35.
Wojo gets a technical foul at 9:29
Ballock misses the first free throw, makes the second.
Kaleb Joseph makes a mid range floater over THREE Marquette players. 68-58, 8:50
Ed Morrow scores an easy basket off Ty-Shon turnover.
Anim gets called for a blocking foul
Krampelj misses a three
Kaleb Joseph gets called for a foul while boxing out, gets kicked in the head
Sam Hauser scores on inbound play 68-62 6:45
Ty-Shon misses three
Foul on Mintz, third foul
Ballock gets called for a reach-in foul on what appeared to be a clean poke on Howard
Joey Hauser bangs a three, 68-64
Ballock gets called for another foul going for a rebound, fourth personal 5:47 left.
Howard called for his first foul at 5:14
Foul called on Joey Hauser 5:11
Krampelj to the line, makes both. 8-8 from the line. 70-64 5:11 left
Theo John gets and-one over Samson Froling. 70-67 with 4:50
Davion Mintz bangs a three 4:22 left, assist to Kaleb Joseph
Markus Howard bangs a three, 4:00 left 73-70
Davion Mintz returns the favor, bangs a three, gets godfather’s at 76-70.
Markus Howard hits another three. 33 points.
Timeout Creighton 3:13 76-74, Hauser’s three called a three.
Martin Krampelj gets fouled by Anim, ball hits John in noggin. Makes the first, misses the second, 9-10 from the line. 77-74.
Howard gets fouled by Krampelj. Makes both, 77-76 2:40 left.
Ballock lob to Krampelj for a dunk, 79-76 2:20 left.
Ty-Shon steal, block by Theo John, Howard fouled on other end by Zeggy, makes both, 79-78 2:04 left.
Zeggy misses three, Marquette calls timeout on other end. 1:24 left, 79-78.
Markus Howard throws the ball away. 1:11 left 79-78
Ty-Shon gets fouled by Anim, Anim’s fifth, Ty-Shon to the line. Makes both, 81-78 57.8 left.
Howard hits mid range shot on a fade away. 81-80 time ticking away
Timeout Creighton 34.2 seconds left.
Ty-Shon banks in a mid ranger at the shot clock buzzer with 17.1 left. 83-80 Jays
Play under further review.
Krampelj strips the ball from a driving Howard. Clean.
Krampelj to the line, 8.9 seconds left, 83-80. Makes both. 85-80.
Chartouny makes a lay-up with .6 seconds remaining.
Timeout Marquette. 85-82.
Krampelj lets the ball go out of bounds. Marquette ball under their hoop.
Hauser BANGS A THREE. Overtime!
lots of talk about stuff
making sure overtime is real
Mintz misses a floater in the lane
Howard breaks Ty-Shon’s ankles, hits floater, 87-85 MU
Ty-Shon gets blocked by Theo John in the lane
Howard bangs a three, 90-85 MU.
Foul on Joey Hauser, Krampelj to the line. Makes both 90-87 MU
Markus Howard bangs another three, 93-87 MU
Mintz returns the favor with a three. 93-90 MU
Howard bangs another three. 96-90. MU
Zeggy hits a high arcing lay-up in the lane, 96-92 MU 2:16 left
Howard airballs a three, John with an offensive board, throws it off of Krampelj.
John scores in the lane off assist from Howard. 98-92.
Ballock bangs a three, 98-95 1:30
Ballock fouls out. Howard hits both free throws. 1:22 100-95 52 points for Howard
Ty-Shon misses on a drive into the lane. Fouls. Chartouny makes one, 101-95
Mintz misses a three. Marquette rebound.
Ty-Shon makes a three from the top of the key, 101-98 34 seconds left.
Krampelj fouls Markus Howard. Makes one. 102-98
Ty-Shon makes a lay-up. 102-100
Joey Hauser fouled, makes both 104-100.
Ty-Shon gets fouled. Makes both. 104-102
Mintz fouls Chartouny. 15.9 seconds left. Makes both. 106-102.
Ty-Shon misses on a dribble drive, Krampelj fouls John. Misses the first. Misses the second.
Missed three by Ty-Shon on the other end, rebound by Mintz, Mintz scores at the buzzer, 106-104 final