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.
9. Loyola beats Creighton in battle of old Valley vs. new Valley
When Creighton departed the Missouri Valley in 2013 and was replaced by a struggling Loyola program, fans and analysts around the league wondered if the Ramblers could ever replace the success the Bluejays brought to the league.
The 2013-14 season proved that right, as Creighton finished No. 2 in the Big East and Loyola tied for last place in the Valley. Then 2014-15 reversed the narrative, as Loyola won 24 games and a CBI title while Creighton tied for last.
The two teams met Dec. 5 in Creighton’s first matchup against a MVC program since March 2013.
A hot start by Loyola put the Ramblers ahead 27-13, but Creighton’s offense found a groove late in the first half, finishing the period on a 12-2 run.
Loyola remained in control with a 59-51 lead at the 3:36 mark. Then Creighton scored five points in a row to put pressure on the Ramblers, and with 14 seconds left a layup cut Loyola’s lead to 65-63.
A turnover in the backcourt by sophomore guard Ben Richardson awarded Creighton an opportunity to tie or take the lead, but freshman Khyri Thomas missed two free throws after drawing a foul, allowing Loyola to escape with a 68-65 victory.
The win also featured a phenomenal performance from junior guard Milton Doyle, who recorded 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Creighton losing to the team that replaced them in the Missouri Valley is a beautiful case of poetic justice.
— matt eichinger (@mjeichinger) December 5, 2015
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2015’s Top 10 Moments of Chicago basketball: