Top 10 Moments of 2015, No. 2: Northwestern outlasts Michigan in double overtime

Photo: David Banks / USA Today Sports

Although no local teams made the NCAA Tournament, 2015 was the best year in a long time for Chicago college basketball.

The Catch and Shoot has chosen its top 10 moments of the year and will be rolling out one per day until New Year’s Eve, when the No. 1 moment will be revealed.

 

2. Tre Demps’ heroics key implausible, double overtime Northwestern victory

Photo: David Banks / USA Today Sports
Photo: David Banks / USA Today Sports

There’s no question this was the wackiest game of 2015 in the Chicago area. Northwestern’s win probability dipped below five percent on the final possession of regulation and in the closing seconds of the first overtime. However, the Wildcats rallied twice and escaped with an 82-78 win.

After trailing by as many as 12 points in the second half, Northwestern rallied and closed within 57-56 with 21 seconds remaining. After Michigan’s Zak Irvin made two free throws, Northwestern needed a 3-pointer to tie. Freshman point guard Bryant McIntosh turned the ball over.

The Wildcats fouled Irvin again, and this time he missed the front end of a one-and-one. In need of a desperation triple, shooting guard Tre Demps pulled up for a step-back 3-pointer several feet behind the arc, and he drained it.

Demps had a chance for the win after Michigan committed a turnover, but his jumper was off the mark this time.

In overtime, Michigan guard Spike Albrecht netted a free throw with 16 seconds remaining to give the Wolverines a 71-65 lead.

Demps dribbled down the floor and drilled a contested, corner 3-pointer with 9.7 seconds to go.

Michigan turned the ball over on the inbounds pass, allowing Northwestern an opportunity to tie and force a second overtime. The Northwestern coaching staff drew up a perfect play as senior JerShon Cobb found Demps in the corner with a solid 3-point look, and he made it again.

Northwestern center Alex Olah began the second overtime with a 3-pointer from the top of the arc, and the Wildcats led the rest of the way.

What made this victory even sweeter for Northwestern fans was that the Wildcats had recently been dealt a handful of crushing defeats against Michigan in basketball and football.

In January, Northwestern lost 56-54 at Michigan when McIntosh open layup at the buzzer missed its mark.

For three straight football seasons, Northwestern had lost to Michigan in either the final seconds of regulation or overtime.

2015’s Top 10 Moments of Chicago basketball:

Honorable mentions

No. 10: NU wins in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

No. 9: Loyola finds poetic justice against Creighton

No. 8: Joshua Meier game-winner completes Chicago State comeback

No. 7: DePaul rocks No. 20 George Washington

No. 6: Loyola blows out Indiana State at Arch Madness

No. 5: DePaul starts Big East play 3-0

No. 4: UIC advances to Horizon League semifinals

No. 3: Montel James drops the hammer in CBI Championship

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